My Beloved Osito,
With Week 1 in the books, The U switched focus to a pseudo in-state rival with the Owls of Florida Atlantic University. The rivalry aspect is only added because the rosters of both teams are full of South Florida players that have played each other since Pee Wee league. However, the talent level has been significantly better at UM than FAU and I hope that has continued. Another rivalry aspect is the fact that the “Godfather” of UM football, Howard Schnellenberger, (you saw him in the 30 for 30 episode we watched) founded the football program at FAU. While The U was preparing for the game, I had the daunting task of trying to figure out how to make “owl” the center of the game meal. While I knew it couldn’t possibly be good to consume and possibly illegal, I did my due diligence and tried to see if owl meat was something you could purchase. I quickly switched my focus when I started typing “owl meat for” and the word “magic” auto populated as the second most searched phrase after “sale”. I nailed it down to two options for the game which were Cornish hen and Quail; despite the fact your mom called it food from the “Mid-west” prairie lands. I could only find quail legs at the store so I ran a read option play and got both, Cornish hen and quail. The hen was a good choice since your mom is not always up for trying the “exotic” things I make. Both dishes came out just like the football game, amazing! The hen I grilled as “beer can” chicken with indirect heat and the quail legs were grilled traditionally. This was my first time eating, and obviously cooking, quail and I was oddly surprised that it tasted just like chicken. I know that sounds cliché, but facts are facts. I’ll give the food a 9 out 10 and we won 38-10. The next game is against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Not sure what I’m supposed to do with the whole mountaineer theme.
Ingredients and Directions:
- Fully thaw and clean the Cornish Hen then coat in olive oil and marinate overnight. My key marinating ingredients are Cajun Seasoning (greatest seasoning ever made, but if it isn’t Tony Chachere’s don’t trust it), garlic, black pepper, Adobo (your mom’s Hispanic roots got me hooked on this), Dale’s Seasoning (my liquid component) and beer.
- Remove hen and pour beer marinade mixture back into the can, ~3/4 full. Place hen on top of the can (see picture below). I patted the hen dry and added a mix of brown sugar and Cajun seasoning to the outside to get a good crust as it cooks.
- The fire should be made on the opposite end of chimney to allow some smoke to cross the meat as it leaves. (Your mom is not a huge fan of smoke flavor so this method satisfies my craving).
- Place the hen on opposite side of burning coals with its back facing the heat and rotate every 25-35 minutes pending on how hot the grill. My temperature ranged from 325-400 degrees.
- You should be able to tell when the hen is done, but the internal temperature should be ~165-175 degrees in the breast and thighs and the beer mixture will keep the hen moist.
- Fully unthaw and clean the quail legs then coat in olive oil and marinate overnight. See step 1 of Cornish Hen.
- Place on grill. Since they are really small I placed them on the top rack of the grill.
- Cook for ~5-8 minutes on each side
Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”