Monday, September 21, 2009

Excaliber Baby Chickens, no forks allowed

On our way home from Zion National Park and a fun visit with an old friend, James and a new friend Debbi, we stopped in Vegas, baby! We stayed at the Excaliber and went to the Tournament of Kings dinner show to watch the knights jousting. Henry really liked the dinner of Dragon's Blood Soup, Games Hens, fried steak cut potatoes, broccoli and dried out dinner roll. He mostly enjoyed the privilege of eating with his hands. Henry is a picky eater, so when he likes something (that is healthy and the rest of us will eat it) I will make a point to cook it. Game hens seem like a complicated meal to eat on a
weeknight, but this dinner was simple.

I don't think I've written about salt here yet. I use course grey sea salt. I guess it's from France. I buy it in bulk at the Natural Food Store. My sister, the real salt freak, buys it by the barrel. I joke, but she does buy like 30 pounds of it every year and then hands it out to us through the year. She saves a lot of money buying it in bulk. Something like $1 or 2/pound to my $6.

I use a big mortar and pestle to grind up my salt into smaller crystals, about a tablespoon at a time or as I need it. I really like using the grey sea salt. It makes the food taste really good and it has lots of minerals in it. I read articles on salt where they stated there is no difference in taste between the pink salt from this tiny island near japan, the grey salt from France,etc... and the diamond crystal from mines in Pennsylvania, that all salt has the same composition.
But the way the salt crystals melt on the food, or in your mouth, I guess that is what makes a difference.

Anyway, if you see it in your store pick it up and give it a try. Try it on fresh lettuce greens with good olive oil and a sprinkle of vinegar and cracked black pepper. Let me know if you notice a difference.

Excaliber Game Hens

For the baby chickens I ground about a tablespoon salt with the leaves of about 8 springs fresh thyme and a bunch of cracked pepper wiht my mortar and pestle. I rubbed this mixture all of the birds and put a little inside the cavity. Place the birds on a roasting pan (covered with foil for easy clean-up) and put a pat of butter on each bird. Place in a 375 degree* oven for about an hour. Baste the birds when you think about it and half way through the cooking time flip the birds to brown the backs. flip back after 15 minutes and finish breast side up.

After you get the birds in the oven cut 2 or 3 large idaho potatoes lengthwise into 8ths. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a sheet pan and put in oven with chicks. I also wrapped a bulb of garlic sprinkled with olive oil and a little salt in foil and baked in the oven too.

Steam a head of broccoli. Skip the dried out rolls.

Serve with or without silverware.

Henry said the only thing missing was the rolls!!

* I use the convection roast mode on my oven. If your oven cooks slow, increase heat to 390 degrees or so.

I never remember to take a picture of the food when it is finished. I am always too hungry and ready to eat. Here's a picture a few minutes after it went in the oven.

1 comment:

micke said...

Mary Elisabeth Finn!
Is it really you?

This is Micke from good ol´ Fannys.
I googled you and found this beautiful site and got really glad to see that you seem to be alright. Im back in Sweden. I would be happy if you drop me your mailaddress and I will mail you further. Last time I spoke to you was when I was in San Antonio back in 98. Wow, does time fly or what?

All the best!