A Unique Holiday Breakfast
Mario and Michael's Fried Cornish Hens and Pandoro French Toast
- For the Buttermilk Cornish Hens:
- 2 tablespoons Salt
- 1 tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Coriander (toasted and crushed)
- 2 Quarts Buttermilk
- 3 Cornish Game Hens (cut into halves)
- 2 cups Flour
For the Pandoro French Toast:
- 5 Eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Orange (zest)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2 Pandoro cakes (sliced crosswise into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
For the Honey Bourbon Sauce:
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
For the Chive and Parsley Salad:
- 1 Orange (juice)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Chives
- 1/2 cup Parsley
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- For the Buttermilk Cornish Hens: In a small bowl, whisk the spices. Pour half into a roasting pan or 2 large zip top bags. Pour the buttermilk into the pan or bags. Add the cornish hens and move around to coat making sure the flesh side is submerged in the mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 hours to marinate.
- Preheat oil to 350 degrees F in a dutch oven. Place flour in a large baking dish and mix with the reserved spice mixture. Remove hens from the marinade and discard the liquid. Dredge hens in the flour mix making sure to coat heavily.
- Place the hens in the hot oil 2 to 3 at a time depending on space. Overcrowding the pot will prevent the hens from achieving a crispy crust. Fry for 12 to 15 minutes or until you achieve a dark golden crust. Remove and allow to rest on a wire rack. If using a smaller pot, preheat an oven to 225 degrees F to keep fried hens warm while cooking the remaining pieces. Serve with warm french toast and honey bourbon sauce.
- For the Pandoro French Toast: Preheat a griddle over a medium-high heat. Mix together the eggs, cream, zest, nutmeg and salt in a large baking dish. Place cake in mixture, flipping fully coat.
- Cook on preheated griddle for 1 to 2 minutes, flip and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly golden on both sides. Remove from griddle and continue dredging and cooking remaining pieces of cake.
- For the Honey Bourbon Sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- For the Chive and Parsley Salad: Whisk together the orange and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the herbs in the vinaigrette and then garnish the chicken and french toast with the salad.