Cornish Hen Stew
Afrin has been my best friend today. I spent all last night and this morning, stuffed up as all get out, and was on the verge of having my head explode. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't talk right. And I couldn't be normal. Until I decided to purchase that God-send of a nosespray... Afrin. So thank you, Afrin. I can now breathe, and I no longer have to fight for air.
Adapted from Food & Wine's March 2010 Issue - 'Cornish Hen Stew w/ Lemongrass & Chiles'
2 Cornish hens
salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8-10 dried red chiles
2 shallots, smashed and peeled
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
4 cups water
2 turnips, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 scallions, sliced
juice from 1 lime
You want to start by breaking down both of the hens. Remove the wing tips and backbone. Separate the legs into drumsticks and thighs. Then remove the rib bones from the breasts.
Season the hen pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven under medium high heat. Add the cornish hen pieces (I did 2 batches) and brown on both sides, about 4-6 minutes. Once browned, transfer the pieces to a plate.
Add the dried chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and tumeric to the pot and stir until fragrant. This will be a whole lot of aromatics that will just smell AWESOME!
Add in the water and turnips. Return the hen pieces to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, until breasts are cooked through. Remove the breasts and cover with foil. Cook the remaining hen pieces for another 10 minutes.
Return the breasts pieces and stir in fish sauce, scallions, and lime juice. Adjust seasoning to taste and then ladle into soup bowls!
I served this with some basmati rice and mixed it into the stew and it was marvelous. You can decrease the amount of chili peppers if you want it less spicy, but I thought this was a great balance of spice. Enjoy!