Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Orange Roasted Cornish Game Hen

nnerThis is our traditional Valentine's Day main entree. I've been making it for my husband for eight years now. Nine maybe? Something like that. He's in charge of being romantic and remembering dates, I do the finances.

This recipe makes enough for two people, sort of. If you eat light or have several side dishes this works for two. We have a family of five and I tend to make one game hen per person. There are leftovers this way, but the meat becomes a quick salad topper the next day.

My family loves this so much that I've added it to our regular night line up. A little prep in the morning and this could be an easy meal to toss together on a busy week night. As an added bonus, spring planting means I'll soon have my own fresh herbs to season this dish with.

Orange Roasted Cornish Game Hen
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as thyme, parsley, and mint)
2 tablespoons minced shallots -or - green onions
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 large Cornish game hen, halved lengthwise (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sparkling apple cider -or- apple juice
2 thin orange slices

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix first 3 ingredients in small bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of softened butter to the herbs. Cream together.

Slide fingertips under skin of hen halves to loosen. Spread 1/4 of herb mixture under skin of each hen half. Rub skin with butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place hen halves in shallow roasting pan. Roast hen halves until golden and cooked through, adding broth after 10 minutes and basting twice throughout cooking time, about 30 minutes. Don't baste at the end if you want crispy skin.

Transfer hen halves to platter.

Pour pan juices into a sauce pot and put on burner over medium heat. Add juice, sparkling cider, and remaining herbs; boil until reduced, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over hen halves, garnish with orange slices, and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

The rest of our meal included Chilled Strawberry Soup, Orange Cream Filled Acorn Squash and Mashed Potatoes. The recipes will be up soon!

(adapted from Bon App├ętit April 2003 recipe)

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