This is an article that I recently wrote for the Virginia Beach Sail and Power Squadron newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as well!
The weather is turning colder now and the holiday season is fast approaching. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner! For some, the boating season has all but ended and you are busy getting ready for the holidays and all fun and festivities they bring.
For those of you that keep your boat in the water year round, I would like to encourage you to consider spending some time on your boat over the holidays. It can be unique and special way to celebrate the season. You don't need to have huge oven and a gourmet kitchen to enjoy a holiday feast on your boat either. You just need to be a bit creativity in your choice of menu.
Consider this, it is just you and your spouse for Christmas eve dinner this year. After decorating the boat with a small tree and a few decorations in preparation for the Grand Illumination Event, you decide that to have a quiet, romantic Christmas eve dinner on the boat. Hot mulled cider has been simmering on the stove and now perfumes the salon with aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. The menu has been set. It is one that works wonderfully even in a small galley: Cornish Game Hen, potatoes, sauteed green beans, romaine salad with pomegranate seed, feta and candied pecans and balsamic dressing and, for dessert, pecan pie that you baked prior and toted along with you that morning.
While the Cornish game hens are roasting, you and your spouse relax on the aft deck listening to holiday music and sipping on your hot cider while you reflect on the reason for the season. Quiet. Peaceful. Relaxing. A wonderful way to spend the holiday with the one you love!
Cornish game hens work great on a boat. Since they are small in size, you can even bake them in a toaster oven. The recipe below is one of my favorite Cornish game hen recipes that I have made for holidays past.
Cornish Game Hens
- 2 Cornish game hens, thawed
- 1/2 of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fresh parley
- 1 teaspoon each of minced oregano, minced sage and minced marjoram
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4-6 shallots, peeled
- salt and pepper
- dry white wine
- chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rub hens inside and out with the lemon half. Season the outside of the hens with salt and pepper. Fill the inside of the hens with 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1-2 shallots. Add about 1/2 teaspoon or so of the herbs to the inside of each hen.
Place the hens in a roasting pan or other baking dish. Season the outside of the hens with the remaining herbs. Dot each hen with butter. Arrange remaining garlic cloves and shallot around the hens.Add enough white wine and chicken broth in equal proportions to the pan to be about 1/2 inch deep in the pan.
Bake hens, basting every 15 minutes, until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the breast reads about 165 degrees F. The juices should also run clear.Transfer to a platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and will consider a new tradition and spend a relaxing day on your boat this holiday season!
Wishing you and yours peace and joy this holiday season!!