The finished cornish hens on couscous with the curry sauce
While at work today, I penned an ingredient list for what I think is the perfect fusion of Thai and Indian cuisines. This marinade makes enough for two cornish hens. The cayenne pepper lends a little kick and the peanut butter and coconut milk provide the perfect foundation for the curry powder. A bold and delicious dish. Serve the hens on top of couscous that has been flavored with a little of the marinade, butter, salt and pepper.
1 can light or full fat coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
Splash of rice wine vinegar
Dash of cayenne pepper
5-6 sprigs of cilantro
Whirl all ingredients in the blender and place in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame until just up to the simmer and turn off the heat. Let cool.
Take 2 cornish hens and remove the backbones with kitchen shears and lay flat. Make a few slit in the drumsticks of each hen. Pour about half the marinade on them and place in the fridge for about an hour. Just pour it out. Do not cross contaminate the marinade. Keep marinade warm on the side. This will be your sauce to pour on the hens and for dipping too!
Preheat the grill to high and grill the cornish hens for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear when pierced. While hens are on the grill make the couscous.
1 cup of couscous
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of the marinade
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
Bring the water, the butter, the marinade, the seasoning and the peas to a boil in a saucepan. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir in the couscous. Take off the heat and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper. A nice variation would be to add 1/2 cup of currants to the liquid and then 1/2 cup of pistacios or almond slices to the finished couscous (for some crunch).
Place the couscous on a platter and place the hens on top. Drizzle remaining marinade over top of hens and serve. Serves 4
The simplest Chicken Curry
NOTE: If you want to turn this sauce into a Simple Chicken Curry, double the marinade recipe and add some warm chicken broth (maybe a half cup) to loosen it. Grill or broil some chicken pieces (cut pieces from one chicken) and add them into the curry sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Or, in the alternative, take boneless chicken breast (enough to be coated nicely with all that delicious sauce) and cut into pieces, sautee in olive oil until tender and done, and place in the warm sauce to warm through. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve with plain basmati rice and warm naan.