Thursday, July 15, 2010

Helping out is a nice thing to do!

This is one of the first dinner features that I have put together all year. Being a lunch cook and all, I rarely get to play around with the dinner feature. However, Shannon is by herself on hot side on Wednesday and Thursday so sometimes she has a lot of mise en place to get ready for dinner service. As a result, the dinner feature can become a real murder item to your day.

I happen to love Shannon and I also happen to love cooking, so, what better way to spend some spare time than cooking a special to make life a little easier on the one I love.

I saw that there was ten Cornish Game Hens in the cooler when I arrived back to work from our days off and I have been dieing to learn the Villa de Lupo chicken dish that Jon and my friend and old mentor James have cooked so many times in their past. No better opportunity will arise than this. So, after a quick rundown on the process from Jon, I was off to the races. Since it's not my recipe and since it is still on the villa menu I will not go spreading the word on how to do it. It was basically done how I thought it would be, but, Jon did have a few very helpful hints on how to make it work a lot better.

Basically what you end up with is the breast meat in the center, the leg meat around that and the skin wrapped around the whole thing with the leg bone sticking out. Half a bird in one nice little package. Beautiful. Thanks to Jon for the tips and thanks to what is know called Lupo restaurant in Vancouver.

To go along with this stunning piece of poultry I did one of my all time favorites. Pommes Anna. Thinly sliced potatoes which are placed around in a circle in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Layers of potato are stacked up and then, once crispy on one side, is flipped to make crispy on the other side. Finish it in the oven and then serve. Crispy outside soft inside, so good.
Also, I smoked the bones from the Game Hens and then roasted them to make a jus. Turned out really well. For some acidity Shannon made a really nice berry gastrique. A few fresh berries and summer squash to finish it off.

Gotta love it. If you have any other cool ways to serve half a bird let me know.


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