Persian Stuffed Hens
3 game hens
2 small jars of capers packed in salt
Now, I like to make alot of stuffing and then cook the stuffed birds on a bed of stuffing. If you do not want so much stuffing, although I highly recommend it, make half as much stuffing.
1) Now this dish is based on an ingredient on that pillar, "candied capers with salt for stuffings." From talking to Professor Dusinberre and the fact that that pillar specifies 1300 birds as needed per day, I decided to use this caper stuffing for birds. Now, to candy something without sugar, we need to use honey. This is the same concept used in the post about Apicius' stuffed dates. So, heat some honey in a pan at low heat.
2) Then when it starts to bubble, add the capers packed in salt.
3) Get them all coated in the honey so that you have a pan of salty, sweet caper goodness.
4) Then turn off the heat and set it aside. Now for the rest of the stuffing. In a separate pan, add some olive oil, maybe a quarter cup or so. Add a handful of sesame seeds and a handful or two of blanched, slivered almonds.
5) When these start to turn a light golden brown, add a chopped onion and some minced garlic.
6) Let that cook for a couple more minutes and add your parsley, raisins, and cumin.
7) Then add your caper mixture.
8) Then add a quarter cup of apple cider or so and cook it until it has cooked off.
Then add add them to your stuffing until it is the right consistency ... think the consistency of the stuffing you just made for Thanksgiving!
Stir and get ready to stuff!
10) Get your birds ready.
And stuff em!
Then, tie them with twine. I take the rest of the stuffing and make a bed on my baking pan. Then I rub my stuffed hens with cumin and set them on the bed.
Now bake them uncovered at around 400 for about 45, or until the stuffing in the birds reads 165 degrees on your meat thermometer. If they start to look like they are getting too done on the outside, turn the oven down to 300. Then eat them! They are shockingly good. Shocking! A really exotic and delicious dish.
Enjoy this attempt at recreating the food from the royal table of the ancient Persians!