Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eat to the Beat II: Purple Rain

Eat to the Beat is back!

You remember, right? The event that challenges food bloggers to make a recipe inspired by a song? I'm psyched it is back, but I had kind of hoped we'd have some constraints this time. However it is another open free for all, so I went with an idea I came up with after last round. Something 80's inspired...

I'm more of a 90's alternative or pop or jazz or classical or techno girl- 80's are not my style. Last round I went with the alternative angle with Hell cupcakes. They were fun to make and I loved that I had to challenge myself and got to be really creative.

So like I said, this time I went to the 80's for inspiration, specifically, Prince. I'm not a big fan of 80's music, and Prince is right up there in things I generally dislike. But thinking about his song "When Doves Cry" I found an idea.

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold?
Maybe I'm just too demanding;
Maybe I'm just like my father- too bold.

Maybe you're just like my mother,
She's never satisfied.
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry.

The idea of doves with a bold flavor, or maybe salty like tears,- sounded good. I looked through a cookbook I have called Perfect Chicken Dishes and found something perfect! It called for Cornish hens- doves? It called for a unique stuffing- bold? And it had port and grapes- purple! Perfect!

My submission for Elly's Eat to the Beat Summer '08 is below! I hope I made that weird little rocker man proud!

When Doves Cry Cornish Hens with Port Sauce & Grapes
Modified from Perfect Chicken Dishes
  • 2 Cornish Hens
  • 1/2 C. Chicken Broth
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1/2+ C. Port
  • 1 C. Purple Grapes
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 C. Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
  • 1 C. Couscous
  • Toasted Almond Slices
  • Chili Powder

  1. Prepare the Cornish hens to be roasted in a slow cooker; remove innards, rinse and pat dry the skin, and rub in the salt and pepper on the skin and in the cavity.
  2. Place Cornish hens in the crockpot with the 1/2 cup of broth. Cook on low heat for about 6-7 hours until tender and cooked through.
  3. 30 minutes before the chicken is ready to come out, heat the port on medium heat to a low simmer in a small pot. (That's a lot of size adjectives, huh?!) Simmer it down to a little more than half.
  4. Place the grapes in the pot and stir them around to coat with the port reduction and to soften a little. After 2-3 minutes, remove the grapes with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  5. Add the butter to the sauce and melt. Slowly add in the chicken broth, stirring continually. You will want the heat to remain on medium and the mixture to keep simmering. Boil until it is reduced by about half.
  6. Mix together the cornstarch and water in a tiny bowl until smooth. While the sauce boils, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch mixture and stir. This will thicken the sauce up.
  7. Turn the heat down to low and blend in the cream until the mixture is smooth and rich!
  8. As you are finishing the sauce, boil 1 cup of water for the couscous. The couscous gets added to the boiling water, is covered and removed from the heat. It is cooked after about 5 minutes. You can then add the chili powder and almonds. Truthfully, my side dish was the weakest part of the meal, and you should make whatever you think is appropriate!
  9. Serve the hens on a pool of sauce, with the grapes and couscous (or whatever) on the side. I also added some steamed broccoli to finish off the plate.

Keep on rockin' on in the kitchen all! And Eat to the Beat!


Ally said...

OOOOh! What a lovely submission! I love that song, (I can't believe you don't! Lol!)
Everything looks great, sounds like a very tasty meal!

Rachel said...

Wow it looks great! I am with you almost exactly on the types of music you like, but I LOVE Prince and a lot of 80's music as well! I love your inspiration! Very creative!

That Girl said...

You work like me...but then go the wrong direction. I picked a decade too, but then I used a band I actually LIKE!

Elly said...

Thanks for participating again, Erika. I love this submission! Although I'm kinda sad you don't like Prince, I'll get over it. :)