Donna Hay's Roasted Spatchcocks with Port, Mushrooms and Lentils

I wanted to say: how easy is that? But that's Ina and this is Donna. While we often think of the word spatchcock in reference to the preparation of a chicken (butterflying it for ease and speed of cooking), in Donna Hay speak a spatchcock is also a very young chicken. Because they are unavailable here, I substituted game hens. 
You'll find this a fabulous fall or winter dish, especially when you've had a busy day. Just assemble your ingredients and throw them all together in a roasting pan. Voila! No effort at all. The chorizo gives the dish some zing and the port makes it all luscious.

Donna Hay's Roasted Spatchcocks Game Hens with Port, Mushrooms and Lentils
From Donna Hay Magazine, Issue #82

4 game hens, tied
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups green lentils
3 dried chorizo, sliced
5 shallots, peeled and halved
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups assorted mushrooms
1 1/2 cups port
5 cups hot chicken stock


Preheat oven to 475. Place all ingredients except game hens in a large deep sided roasting 
pan. Place game hens on top, sprinkle with olive oil and then salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for 30 minutes* or until game hens are golden and cooked through. 
*Note: That's a hot oven, but it still took mine 45 minutes. So make certain the temperature in the thickest part of the leg is 165°F  and the juices run clear.


Swedish Cinnamon Buns

I haven't any idea why these are called Swedish, but I thought they were fun because they are a yeast bread made in muffin tins with paper muffin liners...never have done that before. There aren't any raisins in these cinnamon buns either, so if you want to add them, sprinkle them over the brown sugar before you roll up the dough. Making any kind of bread from scratch always looks like such an effort, but it isn't, really. Just takes a bit more wait time in the kitchen. Your dough hook on a stand mixer does all the work. 

These aren't as decadent as Ina's sticky buns (which have the advantage of being quicker to make, albeit hideously fattening), but more like breakfast rolls without all the gooey topping. They sure were fabulous hot from the oven. Just add a bit of butter. Yum. 

Is there anything better than the fragrance of fresh rolls or bread in the oven?

Swedish Cinnamon Buns
From Cakelets and Doilies

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
50 g (about 3.5 tablespoons) butter, roughly chopped
3 1/2 cups flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 egg, beaten lightly

75 g (about 5.25 tablespoons) butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten lightly
Pearl sugar to sprinkle Or use silvered almonds 

Put the milk and ground cardamon in a small saucepan and bring to just below the boil. Take off the heat, stir in the butter and leave to infuse until the milk mixture is just warm (about 100 degrees F).
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with hook attachment. Add warm milk mixture and egg to flour mixture. Knead on low speed until you get a smooth pliable tacky dough, about 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Resist adding more flour to the mixture. The dough is very sticky.

Lightly grease your hands, and shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of your room, it can take anything between 30 mins to 1 hour. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step.

Meanwhile, make filling:
Melt butter and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine dark brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
When the dough is ready, deflate the dough, cover with cling wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle roughly 24 by 10 inches. Generously brush melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the dough, from the longer side, tightly. Place it on its seam. Cut and discard the ends. Cut roll into 12 equal slices.
Line standard cupcake/muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. Place rolls in paper liners. Cover loosely with a tea towel. Let the dough proof for the second time until double in size, about 30 mins to 1 hour. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for baking.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. While waiting for the oven to heat up, brush top of each roll lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle over silvered almonds. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes a dozen.


Maple Oat Pecan Madeleines

Anything maple reminds me of fall. For one thing maple trees this time of year are absolutely beautiful and even though we never tapped our trees until early spring, for some reason maple syrup still makes everyone think of fall.
Gayle at pastry studio posted a delicious madeleine recipe using maple, oats and pecans....they even look like fall!  As Gayle states: madeleines are prepared in the génoise sponge cake tradition, but you really end up with little cakes rather than one big one. Sort of like cookies, but not. A bit crunchy on the outside, but cakey inside. Perfection, I think. I make them all the time, but these are special: not only do they have the fall flavors, but there is a little garnish on each and a final brushing of syrup just to top things off.

Maple Oat Pecan Madeleines
From :pastry studio

1/2 cup flour                               
1/4 cup oats
2 tablespoons  toasted pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder                   
1/4 teaspoon salt                                       
pinch nutmeg
3 oz (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar                                                    
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract                      

1 tablespoon oats, for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pecans, finely chopped for garnish

3/4 oz (1 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, for finishing
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, for finishing

Preheat oven to 375. Generously butter your madeleine molds and lightly dust with flour.

Melt the maple syrup and butter together and set aside to cool.

Place the flour, oats, pecans, baking powder, salt and pinch of nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the oats are finely ground. 

With your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until thickened and the batter falls in ribbons when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes.  Add vanilla. By hand, fold in the flour mixture in 3 additions.  Fold in one-third of the butter mixture until combined. Fold in another third until blended and then fold in the remainder. 

Scoop the batter into the wells of prepared madeleine pans.  Garnish each one with a pinch of oats and pecans.  Bake until the cakes spring back when touched, about 12 – 13 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let them cool for 1 minute, then tilt the pans to dislodge them. 

Melt the 3/4 oz butter and the 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup together.  Stir to combine and brush on the garnished side of each madeleine.  Cool completely.
Makes 20.


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