The French Dispatch is pretty quirky. I feel like it’s one of those movies you have to be in the right mood to watch and you definitely need to pay attention to catch all the sly jokes and puns. Luckily, Hubs and I were in the right mood for this movie when we watched it.
We found ourselves chuckling or laugh-snorting throughout the movie!
Since it was a pay attention movie, it was hard to focus on the food element, but it was definitely there.
The movie was sort of broken into connected parts that followed newspaper or magazine columns. So of course, there was a food column and that's where I found my inspiration. The food writer had previously been a prison chef (it makes sense in the grand scheme of things, you really have to watch the movie). Super quickly, as they introduce the column, the movie flips through several recipes including: City Park Pigeon with Hash and it showed a small roasted bird resting in a bowl of hash. I chuckled and knew I had my recipe.
Of course, I wasn’t going after any pigeons or local birds, but I did buy some Cornish hens. In the past, I’ve cooked my hash recipes stovetop and included the meat (plus topped with an egg), but this time, I decided to roast my hash veggies. Since the veggies from the movie were mostly gold tones, I went with carrots and potatoes here.
I also treated my hens to a dry brine (or cure), rubbing a salt and herb mixture over hens a few hours before baking.
The resulting meat is tender and perfectly salted and definitely the way to go. This one was a hit with the entire family!
Cornish Hens with Roasted Potatoes & Carrots
3 Cornish hens
3 tablespoons salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry sage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound red potatoes, diced
1 pound yellow dutch potatoes, diced
2 pounds rainbow carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons oil oil
Salt & pepper
Loosen the skin of the hens. Stir together the salt, garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Rub the salt mixture under and over the skin of chickens. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the hens in a roaster and drizzle with olive oil. Add ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 60-75 minutes, basting every half hour and removing cover for the last 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the potatoes and carrots with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally during cooking.