Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place 1 bay leaf, 1 lemon slice, 1 rosemary sprig, and equal portions of the tossed tomato filling inside each hen. Each cavity should be full. Spoon the remaining filling over the bottom of a roasting pan. Set the birds on top, spacing them evenly apart, spoon the lemon marinating juice over them, then sprinkle a little salt over them. Roast for 11/4 hours. (For chicken, roast 11/2 hours.) The skins will be golden brown, and the juices will run clear when they are done.
Meanwhile, prepare the roasted garlic: Cut 1/2 inch off the top of each garlic bulb so that the cloves can be easily squeezed out after roasting. Put the olive oil and water in the bottom of a 9-inch baking pan. Arrange the garlic bulbs in the pan, cut side on top. Cover the pan with a lid or foil. After the hens have been roasting for 30 minutes, place the garlic dish in the same oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the hens from the oven to a platter or board and let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. When all the hens are cool, scoop the filling out from each hen and put it into the roasting pan with the remaining filling. Remove all the bay leaves and discard. Set the pan over low heat and simmer, stirring and scraping up the browned bits, for 34 minutes.
Split each hen in half by cutting directly down the middle of the spine, slicing completely through to the other side. If you wish, remove and discard the skins. Place all the hens on a serving dish or half a hen on each of 8 plates, with the breasts lying flat, and spoon the warm filling on top. You may put everything in the oven for a couple of minutes to keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of lemon.
Serve with slices of warm crusty bread to squeeze the roasted garlic onto.
Tips from Rosie's Kitchen
If you have time, marinate the hens or chickens in the lemon juice, pepper, and salt overnight. It is worth it, because the flavors of the marinade are sealed into the meat, and then baked in it, along with the meat's own juices. What you get is juicier and more flavorful meat. Just stuff the birds as directed, marinate them in a large pot, cover, and refrigerate.
If you want to remove the bones of the hens before serving, open the cavity slightly and pull them out gently. Discard the bones and repeat this process for the remaining 3 hens. I usually pull the bones out, but if you find this to be a hassle, leave them in.
Polenta (page 76) is also a great accompaniment to this dish. Spoon the hot polenta on individual serving plates, top with a Cornish hen, and serve immediately.
Makes 8 half-hen servings
Fat 14.4 g
Saturated fat 4.2 g
(35.4% of calories from fat)
Protein 30.8 g
Carbohydrate 28.2 g
Cholesterol 153 mg
Fiber 2.5 g
Linguine with Steamed Clams and Mussels
Although this pasta dish consists of fairly basic and quick cooking ingredients, you can give it a formal presentation. I steam just the clams or mussels if I'm serving this dish as an appetizer, or I pair the entrée with a mixed-green salad and warm slices of Whole Wheat Baguettes with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Herbs (page 255) for a full meal.
2 pounds mussels or clams, or 1 pound each
1 pound linguine
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup purified water
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 shallots, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Soak the clams or mussels in a pan full of cold water for 5 minutes. Scrub the shells to remove any seaweed or mud using a vegetable scrubber or the abrasive side of a clean sponge.
Excerpted from The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil, M.D., and Rosie Daley Copyright 2002 by Andrew Weil, M.D., and Rosie Daley. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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