2011/10/06

Note to self: read the recipe before jumping in (FFwD: Olive-Olive Cornish Hens)

Author's note: the contents of this post are based on my personal hang-ups and are in no way, shape or form intended to be reflective of the recipe.  Because the recipe was good.  The food was good - the path to get there... well, it was just a little horrifying for me, personally (I think I need a sous chef to do all the prep work or something).   Yes, I can see that I am being a big baby.  I will own that.

I apologize in advance if I offend anyone. 
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Why wasn't there a picture of the finished dish to spur me on? 

Of course, I could have read through the recipe and mentally prepared.  But I didn't.  My bad.  My very, very, very bad.

A visual warning would have been nice - it was like a repeat of the "lazy-man's" chicken - except with itty, bitty Cornish game hens. 

Maybe if I interject pictures of nature, they won't notice the lack of the "pretty" shots of the food.  Fingers crossed.
 But with a twist.  You had to crack open the little bugger and snip out the backbone & "crack" it flat. 

Mother of Pearl.  Mother of Pearl.  Mother of Pearl.  I get weak-kneed just thinking about it. 

You would think having survived two children almost all the way through their teen years that I could handle this.  After all, I had already survived this...



But you would be wrong.

Maybe if I had boys it would be easier.   

Think about the cactus.  Think about the cactus.
 I tried to enlist recruits. 

But no takers. 

Just a lone by-stander.  Bless her soul.  At least I didn't have to endure it totally alone. 


They just all laid there in a pile - not even nicely trussed up.
I am still a little traumatized peeps.  Sorry. 


Thank goodness for the buttermilk biscuits.  They were my anchor.  Because once the little fowl were in the oven, I could move on to something less traumatic.  Flour, butter, buttermilk.  Nothing scary there. 

Trust me, I get how he feels... If I could have hid under a rock, I would have.
Just sayin'

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie - where I am sure many of the other FFwD'ers will have put together highly elegant presentations.  You should go look.  Seriously.  It may help you get these images out of your head. 

To my fellow(ess) FFwD'ers - I am sorry for making you live through my trauma.  This was highly therapeutic, though.

28 comments:

  1. Good for you for working through the fear. This is a particularly ghastly recipe for someone who doesn't like to handle whole birds. I'm impressed by your dedication.

    Plus, you made me cackle with "Think about the cactus. Think about the cactus." Hee hee!

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  2. Oh, Cher. I can so relate. Although I would've like to have had a less dramatic reason to sit out this week, I have to say, I wasn't sad at all that this was the recipe I missed. Kudos to you for hanging in there - I'm not sure I could've!

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  3. Awe, happy to hear that you made it through this one. Hopefully you liked them after all that trauma?

    And buttermilk biscuits make everything better don't they?

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  4. Oh my! Funny, the spatchcocking was what drew me to this week's recipe. I think I am quite bloodthirsty. Well, good for you for soldiering on!

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  5. Cher, I think you verbalized how many of the rest of us may have been feeling! I had to get my husband to squash the hens, but I handled the rest of it. I hate handling raw chicken anyway, so already was in a "just do it" mindset. But, in the end, a great, quick, elegant meal for a weeknight.

    Have a relaxing weekend!

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  6. @ Trix. I felt "spatchcocked" by the time I was done with this one.

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  7. Glad you faced your fear and got through this one, Cher. What we can see of your hens they look like they turned out beautifully. :) Your nature pictures are also beautiful.

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  8. Had I found the hens, I'm sure I would have done as Susan and made Eduardo split them for me. Nature pictures are pretty! And I'm sure you rocked those biscuits too. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Well done for getting through! I always get a bit grossed out when dealing with whole birds too... especially cutting them up. Thank goodness you can buy them in pieces, right?

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  10. I was thinking about you when I was about to vomit, wondering - How is Cher handling this???? As always I've got your back girl! We just need to hire us some soux chefs!

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  11. Thanks for the tip. Will definitely read through the recipe beforehand!

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  12. "Au Crap" is just what I felt when reading through this recipe. If you had read the recipe first you would never have made it...totally grossed me out. I'm looking through a few posts and I feel happy to be left out this time. Your post actually made me laugh out loud. So thanks for that.

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  13. Okay, exactly how many hens did you spatchcock, Cher? I could see at least 4 pairs of splayed legs in your photos! You were brave to attempt this, while I basically just 'chickened' out... totally pathetic. Btw, your nature pictures took away some of the pain. Great job, you made me giggle with your take on things yet again! ;-)

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  14. I'm so glad you forged ahead and made the hens! I also enjoyed your "Think about the cactus. Think about the cactus." caption.

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  15. Your post cracked me up, maybe I'll have the butcher flatten my chicken if I make this recipe! I don't really enjoy playing around with raw chicken anyway, but I'm sure the result was good;-)

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  16. I think Patty's got the right idea. We've all proven we can spatchcock when called upon to do so - so, let's call upon the butcher to do so from now on!

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  17. Oh, you are a gem, Cher! How I love reading your posts. I'm glad you got a little moral support :) And I enjoyed your distraction technique~

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  18. I'd didn't so much mind the flattening out as I did the removing of the back bone. That was a little much, and I kind of wish I'd worn gloves! At least it tasted delicious!

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  19. Glad you made it through and enjoyed the end result of the recipe! I've done this prep on chickens before so I knew what I was getting into. But I'm pretty sure the first time I did that I was like, "you want me to what with the what now???!! Ew!" ;-)

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  20. Cher - I agree, photos would have been helpful for this one. I had already decided to use chicken breasts, so I didn't read the directions too closely on the spatchcocking of the little hens. I did watch a few videos later, while writing the post, and now I'm intrigued to try it with a whole chicken, on the grill, under a brick ;-) My worst experience was trying to debone quail, when I hosted the Daring Kitchen gumbo challenge, after the butcher assured me all EIGHT of them were deboned already. I almost called him crying.

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  21. I did not think too much about this recipe, just followed instructions,
    until Tricia called at 8:30 PM asking how to "cut this backbone out"
    never realizing until reading all these comments, how gross this could
    be to some people. Good for you, you kept working. I love all your
    comments. you made me really laugh. Tricia and I enjoyed our trip, more to follow, thanks for asking.

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  22. Awww sorry you were so traumatized. Lovely pictures of nature though, and my family thinks I'm crazy for giggling at the computer. I must just be less squeamish than most, the whole cutting out the backbone and cracking thing didn't but me at all..but it could have been the wine I had before hand...

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  23. Congratulations on persevering! I'm glad you liked the end result, at least. As for "elegant presentation"...mine looked pretty darn messy.

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  24. Hi and thanks for the welcome! I love your blog....your are so funny!!

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  25. Totally relate to how you feel and kudos for getting through it! Your posts are absolutely hilarious. I've said it before, and I'll say it again!

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  26. Cher...you manage to get it done anyway...hahaha thanks for such a great post and your perseverance paid off :) have a nice day !

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  27. LOL - you have come out on the other side and are a stronger woman - those hens look good.

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  28. OMG Cher!!! LOL!!! I knew how you were before with the chicken so I was very curious after reading through the recipe how you would fare with this one! sorry you had a rough time of it! Glad you were able to enjoy the meal though, despite the mental warfare! At least next week is belinis and there is not spatchcocking involved there! :) Something else to hang onto! See you next week!

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