Jerusalem artichokes are knobby, brown-skinned tubers with a crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. If you prefer, potatoes can be substituted.
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 large shallots, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup sliced green olives, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
How to Make It
Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens under cold water; pat dry. Split hens in half lengthwise. Sprinkle hen halves with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Preheat oven to 475°.
Combine artichokes and shallots in a large bowl. Toss with oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place shallot mixture on the rack of a broiler pan. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes, stirring once. Arrange hen halves, skin sides up, over shallot mixture. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until hen juices run clear. Discard skin. Place hen halves on a serving platter; cover with foil, and keep warm. Add tomatoes and olives to shallot mixture. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes or until tomatoes soften, stirring occasionally. Add tomato mixture to serving platter; drizzle with vinegar.
This was very good and I would serve it again. Definitely worthy of an occasion, but also great for a Sunday dinner. I used artichoke bottoms instead of Jerusalem artichokes and served it with cannolli beans cooked w/a little white wine, some chicken broth, a bit of rice vinegar and salt/pepper.
I was disappointed by this dish. The hens were tough, and while the vegetable flavors were good, the crunchy texture of the Jerusalem artichoke was jarring against the soft-baked tomatoes and olives. If I try it again, I will use actual artichokes and chicken instead of Cornish hen. That would probably work.