Tag Archives: Polenta

Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Red Wine Sauce over Polenta #SundaySupper

Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Red Wine Sauce over Polenta

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Libational Recipes, a fun one indeed. Who doesn’t love cooking with an alcoholic beverage of some sort? I certainly do.

So in choosing which recipe to feature today, I wanted to keep with the December-appropriate theme I’m doing all month long, so today I’m posting a dish appropriate for a small but elegant Christmas dinner gathering, or perhaps a small holiday dinner party. Game hens are so adorable, and I think it looks so lovely and fancy to give everyone their own little baby chicken on their plate.

Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Red Wine Sauce over Polenta

Then the adorable game hens swim in this velvety, luscious, rich red wine sauce with savory sausage and sweet red grapes for the whole sweet-salty yin-yang thing we all love. All atop a mound of creamy, cheesy polenta. It’s really a beautiful dish. One I hope you all enjoy!

Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Red Wine Sauce over Polenta

Source: slightly adapted from Tyler’s Ultimate by Tyler Florence

{One Year Ago: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins with a Cream Cheese Glaze}

Ingredients:

GAME HENS:
4 (1-1 ½ lb.) Cornish game hens
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

SAUCE:
Olive oil
½ lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups halved red seedless grapes
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

POLENTA:
5 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups instant polenta
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ tbs unsalted butter
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Season the outside and cavities of the game hens with salt and pepper. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together, then tie the wings flat against the body. Dot the butter all over the game hens, then carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Roast about 45 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of one breast registers 165 F.
Start the sauce as soon as you get the birds into the oven. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then crumble in the sausage. Cook until no traces of pink remain. Dust the flour over the sausage and stir to combine. Add the wine and stir quickly to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Then stir in the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and keep it at a simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and velvety. Add in the grapes right before you’re ready to serve. If the grapes make the sauce too thin, boil it on high heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes to thicken it up.
Make the polenta: bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large stockpot. Sprinkle in the polenta and whisk quickly to combine and make sure there are no lumps. It will thicken up in minutes. As soon as it thickens, turn the heat to low. Add in the cream, butter, cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, cut the strings off the game hens. Mound a few spoonfuls of polenta onto 4 dinner plates. Rest a bird on top of each, then generously spoon the sauce over the birds. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Libations

Savory and Sweet Libational Dishes

Libational Desserts

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Pumpkin Polenta with Maple Syrup Black Pepper Pecans

Pumpkin Polenta with Maple Syrup Black Pepper Pecans 6138

Thanksgiving dinner is all about the sides for lots of people, but I’m convinced that pretty much all of those people have two ovens in their kitchens. If you are roasting a turkey or turkey breast and you only have one oven, the sides can become a thorn in your side very quickly. As a member of the Tiny Kitchen with Only One Oven Club, I’m quite partial to side dishes that can either be made ahead, or are entirely stovetop. Oh, and if they’re really, really quick, that’s just a lovely added bonus that makes me love them even more.

pumpkin polenta with maple syrup black pepper pecans 6133

So I’m sharing the perfect Thanksgiving side dish today for those of us not blessed with that second oven. You do need your oven space for the pecans, but they can be made up to two weeks ahead and stored in an airtight food storage container, and don’t even need to be reheated!

And then the polenta? It cooks entirely in one pot on the stovetop, and it’s done in less than 10 minutes. Oh, and it’s creamy, hearty, satisfying and delicious. Seriously, this is probably the simplest Thanksgiving side you could ever make.

Pumpkin Polenta with maple syrup black pepper pecans 6126

The pumpkin flavor was more subtle than I was expecting, but still there, and as Matt said, “pumpkin doesn’t have to beat you over the head every single time.” I was happy with the dish. Hopefully you and yours will be, too. Enjoy!

Pumpkin polenta with maple syrup black pepper pecans 6118

Source: Polenta from 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray and Pecans from Fine Cooking Magazine, Oct/Nov 2012

{One Year Ago: Almond Flax Seed Granola Bars}
{Two Years Ago: Classic Buttermilk Biscuits}

Ingredients:

PECANS:
1 tbs egg whites (about ½ the whites from 1 large egg)
Kosher salt
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups (8 oz.) pecan halves

POLENTA:
2 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
¾ cup quick-cooking or instant polenta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:
First, make the PECANS: preheat your oven to 325 F and place a rack in the center.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white with 1 tsp kosher salt until very frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk in the maple syrup, butter, and 2 tsp black pepper, then stir in the pecans with a large spoon. Make sure they are fully coated.
Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice with a spatula, until they have absorbed all the glaze and are a shade darker, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Stir with the spatula and continue to cool until crisp, about 5 minutes more. Store in an airtight container if not using immediately.
Right before you plan to serve, make the POLENTA: in a medium saucepot, combine the stock, milk and pumpkin puree. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Back off the heat a little, to around medium-to medium-high and slowly whisk in the polenta. Whisk or stir continuously until the polenta begins to mass together and thicken up. This will take about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low, and add the grated cheese and butter and stir to combine and let the butter melt. You will likely need to lower your heat level during the whisking of the polenta, as polenta really gets an attitude and will start to spit at you. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve immediately, sprinkling each serving with a nice handful of pecans.
Note: polenta is very forgiving; if it gets too thick, just thin it with a splash of stock or milk. Also note that you will likely have extra pecans. This is not a bad thing.