Grilled Cornish Hens with Warm Potato and Portobello Salad

We prefer to use extra-virgin olive oil in the salad, but if the one on your shelf is so powerful that it would overwhelm the potatoes, mix it half and half with a less exalted olive oil.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1 1/4 pounds each), halved lengthwise, backbones removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Preparation

  1. 1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat the oven to 500°. Brush the Portobellos with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill the mushrooms or roast them on a baking sheet, turning once, for about 15 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  3. 3. Brush the hens with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill over moderate heat or roast in the oven on a large rimmed baking sheet for 12 minutes. Turn and cook for about 12 minutes longer, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced.
  4. 4. Peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes and mushrooms 1/4 inch thick and transfer to a large bowl. Add the parsley, olive oil, garlic and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently but thoroughly. Mound the salad on plates and top each serving with 1 of the hen halves.
  5. Wine Recommendation: The clean taste of a Chardonnay-based Mâcon-Villages from Burgundy will highlight the Cornish hens and potatoes. Try the 1996 from Louis Jadot.
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