We are all patiently waiting for Picard to awaken. The area around the university has been quiet for semester break, but it is slowly stirring as students return to the island. Classes start officially as of tomorrow morning. The good news is–most of the vendors will re-open their doors after being closed for the holiday season. Many of the local restaurants/shacks will be open for business.
Trying to cook and prepare meals during break is always an adventure. This week I went to IGA, Tina’s Grocery, and Picard Grocery and still have items on my grocery list I can’t find. This is how we all learn how to work with what we have, get creative in the kitchen and make a recipe work-forced resourcefulness.
I can only eat chicken so many times a week. For some reason, when we are on island, we don’t tend to eat beef. So what are some other options out there for meat eaters in Dominica? Locally, you can find goat, ribs, pork, lamb, turkey, and sausage. We decided to get wild tonight and cook Cornish hen for the first time ever. It was time for something new, time to get out of that cooking rut and stop eat boring, repetitive meals. So, we bought two frozen 2 lb hens that came from Canton, OH all the way to IGA Portsmouth. Then we dusted off our Ronco Rotisserie.
Here’s how we started out…We cooked the hens together so we would have some meat for leftovers. The hens were so light that we didn’t need to use any ties to secure them to the cooking spikes. We set the timer for an hour and got busy doing other things. Things were quiet and uneventful for the first fifteen minutes. Then I noticed a non-religious smoke offering taking place in the kitchen. Ummm that can’t be good. Lesson #1 learned….note to self…make sure hens are on first cooking notch of rotisserie, not second where the hen leg could ummmm possibly rest on the rotisserie heating unit, charring hen’s lower extremities 🙂 . At least this was a problem that could be easily remedied. All we had to do was to move the hens to the lower cooking notch, toward the front of the rotisserie and away from the back of the unit.
The rest of it was a cinch. We were able to “set it and forget it” as Ronco promises. 45 minutes later the hens had reached the desired internal temperature of 180 degrees and that was a wrap. Here’s what they looked like…
Finally, we sat down to enjoy dinner, which really felt like a feast for Moo Cow trail living. I served the hen with beans, corn, and a side salad. The hen was fantastic just having been cooked in its own juices. It tasted just like turkey. Next time we’ll try an overnight marinade.
In case you are new and need some, here are a few Dominica cooking resources:
Spouses Kitchen – Recipes from the Ross Spouses Organization