Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2019 issue.
FOR THE GAME HENS
3 to 4 22-ounce birds for 4 to 6 people
1. Partially de-bone the birds (separate breast and thigh from the rib cage), or ask your local butcher to do this for you.
2. Rub with salt and pepper, sear skin side down in olive oil in a cast iron skillet two to three minutes or until golden brown. Flip and sear additional two minutes on the flesh side. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast in a 350 degree oven for eight to 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the bird reaches 160 degrees.
FOR THE RAVIOLI FILLING
1 tbsp minced shallots
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped Russian sage
Micro plane zest of half an orange
3/4 cup cooked wheat berries (available at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (can also use extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups cooked candied butternut squash
1. Dice the raw squash and blanch by cooking in boiling water one to two minutes. Strain the squash and lay out on a towel to dry it off as much as possible.
2. In a separate pan add five tablespoons turbinado sugar and melt over medium high heat until caramelized. Once it starts bubbling, add the hot squash to the candied mixture and toss. Be careful — sugar will be hot!
3. Transfer candy squash to a pan to cool off.
4. Reserve some of the candied squash for garnish.
5. Mix all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold in the candied squash.
6. Fill raviolis with 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon filling. (Make a basic pasta dough recipe for the ravioli dough or buy pre-made pasta sheets.)
7. Sprinkle raviolis with semolina flour and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them. Boil in salted water one to three minutes until tender.
FOR THE PEAR CIDER JUS
1. Use cast iron skillet from sautéed chicken but drain out the fat. At medium high heat, de-glaze pan with 1/2 cup of local pear cider (such as STEM Pear-Apple Cider), reduce by half and add 1/2 cup chicken stock and one to two tablespoons beef demi glace (we make ours in-house but you can also buy it at Whole Foods) and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Simmer one to two minutes.
2. Finish with two additional teaspoons of pear cider, salt and pepper to taste and whisk in one and 1/2 tablespoons of fresh butter cut intosmall cubes.
Top the game hens and raviolis with the pear cider jus and garnish with the remaining candied squash and chopped walnuts if desired. Serve with sautéed kale or chard from the garden or a fresh salad.
Photo by J. La Plante Photo