This one is a wonderful alternative to turkey or a larger meal can be prepared ahead.
- 1 bird per person plus one extra for the plate
- ¼ lb lean bacon, diced
- 2 small pearl onions per person
- ½ lb mushrooms, sliced
- chicken stock
- red wine
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 1 large stalk celery, sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper
Bouquet garni Edit
- Wash, dry, salt and pepper hens and truss.
- Heat a large heavy pan (e.g. Dutch oven bottom), add diced bacon, cook until crisp.
- Remove bacon, add garlic and hens - brown thoroughly.
- Remove garlic and hens (keep hens warm).
- Add sliced vegetables and garni bouquet.
- Place hens on top of vegetables. Half cover with stock and then wine to almost cover.
- Bring to a boil and place in the oven.
- Bake at 350°F for an hour.
- While the casserole is in the oven, peel white onions and blanch in hot water (or can use canned ones).
- Sauté mushrooms.
- When birds are tender, remove from pan and, if desired, flame with cognac.
- Strain juices into saucepan.
- Purée vegetables and add to juices.
- Over high heat, reduce to ½ the original volume.
- Thicken sauce with a mixture of flour and butter if needed.
- Check and correct seasoning.
- Add mushrooms and onions.
- Pour sauce over birds, cover and heat at least 15 minutes or serve birds and sauce separately. You can stop and here and keep all overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next day, paint inside and outside of the birds with the sauce.
- Bake at 350°F for 45 – 60 minutes.
- There will be no need to thicken sauce.
- Add mushrooms and onions 15 minutes prior to the end of cooking.