Learn How to Homebrew, Then Cook Up Something Tasty
The February issue of Rhode Island Monthly, on newsstands now, is all about the Rhode Island beer scene. We feature our favorite bars, pubs and brewpubs serving locally made or hard to find brews, as well as interviews and mini profiles on Rhode Island’s newest brewers, including Revival, Bucket Brewery, Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island, Ravenous Brewing Company and Foolproof Brewing Company.
In other latest beer news, there’s a new bill that is undergoing legislation review at the statehouse, which involves the pending sale of locally produced beer and wine at farmers markets. Right now, purveyors are only allowed to offer small samples, but if passed, this bill would allow them to sell their products directly to the public, eliminating the middle man of having to go through distributors. Currently, some local brewers and wineries go over the border to Massachusetts, where the sale of alcohol is permitted at farmers markets. No vote has been determined yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
An additional section in this month’s beer issue is dedicated to the home brewer. We give readers detailed instructions on how to brew beer at home, and we also put together a video that guides you through the process of brewing a saison. We weren’t able to fit everything we wanted into the issue, so also check out the recipe below for home cooking that involves beer as a major ingredient.
Sean Larkin, brewmaster for Trinity and Narragansett and co-founder of Revival, provided his recipe for saison and clementine cornish game hens with roasted vegetables. Did you know he went to Johnson and Wales, and started out at Trinity as a cook? You can use your own homemade saison in the recipe, or pick up a growler of it at Trinity when they have it on tap, then serve it with your meal. And don’t forget to pick up your copy of RI Monthly and plenty of beer before the snow hits!
Saison and Clementine Cornish Game Hens with Roasted Vegetables
The tenderness and perceived sweetness of the hens gets a welcome enhancement from the spicy saison, the sweet clementine and the fresh herbs. With the addition of roasted vegetables that share the same seasonings, this is a dish that brings together many flavors while having individual tastes still stand on their own. This pairs wonderfully with a saison, that adds some earthy depth and just a bit of sweetness to the experience.
4 Cornish game hens
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clementine, quartered
6 sprigs fresh sage
1 pound of chopped peeled carrots
1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped
1 pound of large red bliss potatoes
14 cloves garlic
8 ounces Saison
2 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
cornstarch or roux as needed
4 sprigs fresh rosemary for garnish
1/2 cup of scallions or chives
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub hens with one tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place one clementine wedge and one sprig of sage in the cavity of each hen.
2. In a large, heavy roasting pan, add the carrots, celery, onions and potatoes and garlic. Next take the prepared hens and place them on top of the vegetables. The vegetables will elevate the hens and allow for better cooking. Place in oven and roast for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together 4 ounces saison, 1/3 cup chicken broth and two tablespoons of oil and pour over hens after 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
4. Remove roasting pan from oven and transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Separate the juices from the vegetables and transfer juices to a bowl.
5. In a saucepan add remaining two cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the roasting pan juices and 4 ounces of saison to the pan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, until sauce reduces.
6. Reduce to a simmer again and thicken with a roux or cornstarch, as needed. Chop remaining two sprigs of sage and add it to the gravy. Stir, and remove gravy from heat once it has fully thickened.
7. In a large saute pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and then add carrots, potatoes, celery and onions. Saute them on a medium-high heat and cook until slightly brown. Once brown, remove them from the pan and mix them in a bowl with chopped scallions or chives.
8. Remove the clementine and sage from the hens and gently split the birds down the middle lengthwise and plate. Spoon gravy around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve with vegetable mixture.