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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Cornish Game Hens

I had not made these in sometime, but they are delicious, a friend and neighbor that I chatted with at a recent holiday party prompted me to post this.  I found this recipe awhile back on epicurious.com, although I have adjusted it.  The recipe says it serves two, but it actually can serve about 3.  If making for more, of course, the recipe will need to be adjusted.  These go well with a nice saffron rice and salad.  Try it out!

Cornish Game Hens (recipe recommends for two)
**These can be left in the following marinade for at least 12 hours, but they would be even better if they were left in the marinade overnight.**
1 large orange
2 Cornish game hens, cut lengthwise
6-8 tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro
8 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 tsps. ground cumin
1/2 cup tawny port (I've substituted tequila -- tasty)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps. honey
10 whole pitted dates
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped green olives

You can start by arranging orange slices on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.  Top with the game hens. Mix half of the cilantro, chopped garlic and half of the cumin in bowl -- you can rub this mixture all over the hens.  In a small bowl, whisk your chosen alcohol, oil, vinegar and honey and pour mixture over the hens.  The dates, raisins and olives can be tucked in and between the hens.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Turn hens skin side up.  Bake hens with marinade, dates, raisins and olives are cooked through -- about 40 minutes.  Basting occasionally is recommended.  Transfer the hens to a platter making sure to get rid of the orange slices.  Pour pan juices into heavy small saucepan.  Add remaining cumin and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, whisking frequently for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon some sauce over the hens and sprinkle with any remaining ingredients -- you can pass the remaining sauce separately.

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