Cornish Game Hens with a Savory Cranberry Port Sauce

Cornish game hens are a great way to make an ordinary dish gourmet. They are perfect to add herbs and serve as is or make a great sauce as we did. The sauce has seasonal flair, but could be served anytime of the year. Serve this along side my Savory Sage and Sausage Risotto for a fantastic pairing. If you like this recipe, try a few of my other Cornish game hen recipes – Cornish Game Hen with a Pumpkin Puree or Herbed Stuffed Cornish Game Hens over a Sweet Italian Gorgonzola Risotto and Topped with a Blackberry Port Sauce. Two hens are being used and cut in half to yield 4 entrees. However, if you wanted to make a great date night entrée, thaw only one hen and reduce remaining ingredients by half.

Ingredients

Cornish Game Hens
2 Cornish game hens thawed
1/4 cup of olive oil divided
6 large sage leaves
4 springs of thyme
2 sprig of rosemary
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Savory Cranberry Port Sauce
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of fresh cranberries
1 cup of ruby port
1 tablespoon of butter
A sprinkle of kosher salt

Technique

Rinse hens and remove anything inside the cavity. Season hens with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet and sear hens on both sides for about 5 minutes per side. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large baking dish and place hens breast side down. Fill each cavity of the hens with equal amts. of herbs and bake in a preheated oven to 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until done, no pink should remain in the middle. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting in half. While hen is baking make cranberry port sauce. In a small pot over medium high heat add olive oil and sauté shallots until slightly browned. Add port and cranberries and simmer over low heat until cranberries begin to split open. Once the majority of the berries have cracked, pour mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a strainer over the pot to remove all skin from the berries. Use a spoon to push the puree through the strainer not the skin. Add butter and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Simmer until butter is melted and set aside. Plate by cutting hens in half, add sauce to bottom of plate and top with half of a hen. Serve any additional sauce on the side.

Suggested Beverage

Try Freixenet Extra Dry Cordon Negro Cava (Spain), Korbel California Champagne Brut, Zardetto Prosecco Brut Sparkling Wine (Italy), Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley), Samuel Adams® Cranberry Lambic or Spaten Oktoberfest UR-Märzen (Munich, Germany).

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