Recipe by Chef Kristen Essig
Makes 8 servings
Reserve hens. In a blender, purée onion, garlic, mustard, honey and olive oil.Marinate hens for 6 hours. Remove hens and dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil begins to ripple, place 2 or 3 hen halves skin side down into the pan. Reduce heat lightly, sear for 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip hens over and sear 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and place on a sheet pan. Repeat with remaining hens. To finish, brush the hens with the Creole glaze and place in 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add shallots, cooking until just tender. Add the poultry stock and reduce by half over medium-high heat. Add chopped tarragon. Just before serving, whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the ingredients in a blender and purée to emulsify. Set aside until ready to bake the hens.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a thin stream, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the polenta, still whisking onstantly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the polenta from the heat, stir in the cheese and butter. Serve warm. Summer Creamy Polenta: In well-salted water, blanch each of the vegetables separately and place on a paper towellined sheet pan.Whip the butter with the herbs. To finish, sauté the vegetables to warm, adding the herb butter, to taste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.