Joyeux Thanksgiving

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>From my house to yours this holiday season I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving – er, make that un Joyeux Thanksgiving, for today we’re celebrating with French style!  I tend to cook almost exclusively French cuisine (blame all those years of cooking classes at Le Ritz Escoffier and Le Cordon Bleu) so I tend to celebrate this American holiday à la française!

As an American living in Europe celebrating holidays abroad tends to take a slightly different tone than the way we celebrated back at home in the States.   My husband does not have a day off from work on Thanksgiving (after all it’s not a holiday where we live) so our celebration waits til the end of the day when he comes home after a day at the office.  Owning my own company – The Antiques Diva® & Co European Tours – allows me to exercise some control in my schedule and we close shop for the day in honor of the holiday as I hang up my flea market hat in exchange for the gorgeous apron my step-mother made for me a few years ago! 

 Today I’m making some great French Thanksgiving-style recipes from  Saveur to accompany the Truffle-Scented Cornish Game Hens with Prosciutto & Wild Mushrooms recipe I found on to-wild-mushrooms.aspx” target=”_blank”>

I always find it interesting how other expats (foreigners living outside their home countries) celebrate their home countries holidays.  As my husband and I are both Americans, we share the history of Thanksgiving, but what about those Americans who’ve moved overseas and have gone native by marrying a local?  My good friends Stephanie & Allison – authors of the blog La Mom – have both married Frenchmen and in their popular blog talk about what it’s like to live in France, sharing anecdotes and revealing insider information on what it’s really like to be a Parisian.  Last year for Thanksgiving they were featured on French television to share how they celebrate Thanksgiving as American’s living in France.  I thought you’d enjoy watching Les Americans in Paris!  I’m utterly convinced these girls are going to get a TV show someday – but for now, this short video will have to suffice!In the meantime, I’ll have to love you and leave you – I’ve got a date with a bird!! For the recipe I’m using this year… keep reading!

The Antiques Diva®
(seen below with the authors of La Mom!)

Truffle-Scented Cornish Game Hens with Prosciutto & Wild Mushrooms

Recipe by Joanne Weir courtesy of Fine Cooking

Earthy mushrooms and rich, heady truffle oil make this dish a holiday standout. For the wild mushrooms, I like to use a mix of chanterelles, porcini, and morels.  Serves six.

6 Cornish game hens neck and giblets removed and discarded or saved for-stock, hens rinsed and patted dry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

3/4 lb. fresh wild mushrooms, finely chopped

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

3 thin slices prosciutto (2 oz. total) cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 Tbs. white truffle oil

Season the cavity of each hen with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and the juices have evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Stir in the prosciutto and truffle oil.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Insert your fingertips at the wing end of the breast and gently loosen the skin over the breast and around the legs, being careful not to tear the skin. Divide the stuffing into six equal portions of about 2 Tbs. each. Place one portion of the stuffing under the skin and with your fingers, distribute it evenly over the breast and thigh. With kitchen twine, tie the legs together. Tuck the wings underneath. Repeat with each hen.

Arrange the birds breast side up on a wire rack set in a shallow roasting pan (or two). Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and use half to brush over the hens. Season each hen with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes and brush with the remaining melted butter. Roast until the juices run clear when you prick the thickest part of the thigh and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170°F, another 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the hens to a platter, tent with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.