Saturday, October 8, 2011

Olive Olive Cornish Hens - French Friday With Dorie

I am late again in submitting this entry for FFWD :p I wanted to try this week FFWD recipe on Friday but we had dinner with friends , thus I can only roast the chicken for our lunch today and to my surprised it was delicious. I thought it might not be that nice since I do not have the canned anchovies and cornish hens are not available here.  I substituted it with dried anchovies for the tapenade and chicken from the wet market . It turned out great just the same and I love the flavorful olive tapenade. I told Wild Boar that I am treating him to a french cuisine today and guess what ? He asked me this " today is Friday "?  French cuisine means it's Friday ! LOL!

This is my first time making homemade olive tapenade.  As suggested by Dorie, work some tapenade under the chicken's skin and give it a olive oil massage, a squirt of lemon juice and baked them for 30 mins in the oven ( if using cornish hens ) but since I used the local farm chicken, it took me 45 -50 mins of roasting time.

The chicken is split into half and flatten at the breastbone, the skin is loosen from the flesh, using the fingers, work the tapenade under the skin. You know what ? I used all the tapenade on one whole chicken :p Gosh, it turned out delicious and I never regretted using up all the tapenade eventhough Dorie's recipe called for only 2 teaspoon for the cornish hens :)

I will share with you the recipe for the olive tapenade at the end of this post :)   The tapenade can be used as a spread for crackers to go with cocktails or as a condiment ...and it can be kept in the fridge for at least a week if kept in well-sealed jar.  This is so delicious that I shall make some as spread for crackers !

According to Dorie ,  the French called this preparation " en crapaudine "  translated it means " like a toad " which is what the flattened chicken, with it legs splayed and their wings sticking out, resemble. From today's experience, I learned something new - tapenade is tasty and no.2 how to split the chicken into half and resemble a toad !  I have so much to learn from this book " Around My French Table " by Dorie Greenspan. Do get a copy of this book and join us in cooking all the recipes from the book .

Evenly browned and the fragrant wafting out from the oven while it was baking was enough to make both of us hungry  :)  I prepared a simple salad to go with the roast chicken. I used the pan juices to bake the sweet corn and the juices absorb into the corn makes it so tasty...this meal would have been more complete if we have some red wine to go with it :)  I shall make this again for sure ! The rest of the pictures are for drooling :)

Recipe for the olive tapenade

1/2 cup pitted oil cured black olives * I used the green type stuffed with pimentos
1 anchovy, drained  * I used dried anchovies
grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
pinch of rosemary ( fresh or dried )
pinch of thyme ( fresh or dried )
Pinch of pigment d'Espelette or cayenne
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process, scraping down the sides of a bowl as needed, until the olives are pureed. It is up to you how smooth or chunky you want to make the puree. Check the consistency, and if you'd like it a little thinner, add more oil drop by drop. Taste and add more herbs, hot pepper or lemon juice, if you want them.

Have a great weekend !

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  1. Looks wonderful! I'll definitely be making this one again as well.

  2. I love the two little quail eggs, how cute...:)!!

  3. Aw! Love the cute little eyes on the quail eggs!

  4. Gosh! This looks absolutely heavenly. Bet it tastes real good.

  5. Mmm...looks like a wonderful dinner. Beautiful, cute (quail eggs) and comforting! Perfect in my book.

  6. Yum..yum... can I have a share too?

  7. Glad you liked this one...I love the banner of your blog! The photo is beautiful.

  8. i do not know what is tapenade but you sounded them sooo good!

  9. Glad you enjoyed so much!
    I think I used a half cup of green-olive tapenade. 2 tablespoons just didn't seem to be enough.
    Have a great week.

  10. Your hens and all of the sides look fabulous! I liked these too - tasty, juicy and easy to prepare!

  11. This process of flattening out the bird was new for me as well. Dorie is teaching me so much!

    Your chicken looks delicious, happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe as well.

  12. I too love those eggs! They would be perfect for a Halloween meal!

  13. What a beautiful plate of food. Your eggs look so darn cute.

  14. Your chook a la Dorie looks fabulous! Would so love to sit down to this.

  15. I love your eggs! So cute!! A glass of wine would have been great with this meal!! :) I want to try this spatchcocking with a turkey :)

  16. A salad is a perfect accompaniment for this dish! I don't blame you for using all the tapenade - it sounds delicious.