On Saturday night, Game 2 was just beginning and Bill Schaap was serving fowl, although not technically chicken, I wasn’t worried. I had backed myself up with a chicken sandwich earlier in the day. He broke out an oldie but a goodie; a Pierre Franey 60-Minute Gourmet from a time that predates even Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte. My contribution was to matchstick a pile of potatoes, turnips, carrots and celery root for the accoutrement. Bill believes his mandoline thirsts for his blood and was eager to pass along the chore. The result was a perfect rainy night meal brought to the table in a steaming cast iron pot. I was forgiven for taking my plate to the living room for first pitch. The comforting warmth of the meal carried us through a 13- inning, edge of your seat, thriller that put the Yanks in a great spot heading to the sunny climes of Anaheim.
The 11-inning Girardi thinkfest that resulted in a 5-4 loss yesterday should not discourage you from making this one…
Cornish Hens Provencal
From September 11, 1991 Pierre Franey’s New York Times Column 60-Minute Gourmet
2 tbsp olive oil
2 Cornish hens, 1.5 pounds each, cut into 8 pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. chopped onions
2 leeks, cubed, about 1.5 c.
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 c. skinless ripe plum tomatoes, cut in 1/2 in. cubes
24 small green olives w/ pimentos
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 c. dry white wine, like Chardonnay
1 c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp saffron threads or tumeric
Tabasco sauce to taste
4 tbsp chopped basil
1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the pieces of Cornish hen in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the oil becomes hot, add the pieces, skin side down. Cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 minutes more.
2. Add the onions, leeks and garlic and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, thyme, wine, chicken broth, bay leaf, saffron, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve any bron particles on the bottom. Cover closely and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. If there is too much liquid, reduce the sauce a bit. Sprinkle with basil and serve.
Yield: 4 servings