The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Friday, April 29, 2011


Cornish hen with goat cheese & pesto

The Cornish hen, or Cornish game hen, is a small hybrid chicken. Although it’s often served as a single serving, we find one bird is ample for two.

cornish hen 4


Cutting along the backbone and flattening the bird allows it to cook quickly and evenly. This is called butterflying and is easy to do with kitchen shears.

I mixed pesto with fresh goat cheese and stuffed it under the skin. This technique both flavors the meat and keeps it from drying out. Basil-macnut pesto is from J’s Seasonings.

Rub olive oil on the skin, season both sides with salt & pepper, put in a lightly oiled pan on top of sliced potatoes. As you can see, the potatoes absorb the juices and come out incredibly flavorful. These are Yukon Golds from Milner Farm.

Roast at 375. While it was cooking Larry kept sniffing the smells coming from the kitchen with a big smile and eyes closed.

The best way to check for doneness is with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh; it should be 160-165 degrees. If you don’t have one: the leg will wiggle easily and the juices will run clear when you pierce the thigh with the tip of a knife. I forgot to note the time, but I think it took about 40 minutes (check after 30). Allow it to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting through the breast into two portions.


cornish hen 2


This was a very luxurious dinner but not a lot of work. Perfect for letting Larry know he’s special.

yum sounds delicious! What are the greens on the side? Milner sources their yukon golds from Twin Bridge Farm they are lovely potatoes!
I think the greens were sautéed spinach (from SKA) with shiitake. The cauliflower was from Pit Farms (roasted with Penzeys Singapore seasoning). You can always click on a photo to enlarge it.

Yes, those Twin Bridge potatoes are wonderful. I just bought more today. Milner also carries Twin Bridge's asparagus. I have a standing order for them to hold one for me whenever they have it.

I try to mention where I buy local products, even if they didn't grow them (Pit's cauliflower, for example, comes from the Big Island). I do discuss with vendors what items they grow themselves and where they source other items but it would just get too cumbersome to put in the blog. Since Twin Bridge doesn't participate directly at KCC, I'm delighted to have access to their outstanding produce.

Thanks for your encouragement!

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