Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cornish Game Hens with Citrus Berry BBQ Glaze ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~

This sweet and savory game hen recipe was one of my favorite from cooking for the cast at the If I Can Dream House. It's fairly simple but looks impressive on the plate and is perfect for a small dinner party. I like to give each person their own hen, as I think it makes a more dramatic statement, but you can cut these in half. I served them with wild rice, pecan and cherry stuffing ... a healthier version of "Grandma's Stuffing" that is every but as comforting and satisfying. Make this dinner when you feel like preparing a min-version of Thanksgiving that will please most any palate.

6 Cornish game hens, defrosted (It's hard to find these fresh, so if you have limited time to cook, buy these a day ahead to defrost by leaving them in your refrigerator. For some helpful info about defrosting meat click here.) 
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp salt (I use kosher or course sea salt)
1 Tbsp black pepper (I use fresh cracked)
1 Tsp Turmeric (For color and it's healthy)
1 Bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Juice from one lime
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (Optional but amazing)
1 tsp cayenne pepper, ground (Optional for those who like it spicy)

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).  
  • Note: I don't wash my poultry or meat before cooking it as many do. Jacque Pepin believed, if the heat that cooks the meat isn't strong enough the kill any bad bacteria, you don't want to eat it anyway, and I agree with him! Washing your poultry or meat in the sink can spread bacteria through cross contamination so, it's best, in my opinion, to leave it untouched until it's ready to be cooked, then throw away packaging immediately.) See more from experts here.
  • Prepare large roasting pan (with rack if you have one) by spraying it with oil, set aside.
  • In small bowl whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper, and Turmeric.
  • Use basting brush to smother hens with olive oil mixture. 
  • Tuck wings under bird and place on roasting rack, breast up. (You can tie the legs together with kitchen string if you wish, which helps keep the shape of the bird. View how to truss Poultry here.)
  • Roast hens for 25 minutes.
  •   While hens are roasting, in medium bowl,whisk together BBQ sauce, marmalade, preserves, lime juice, vanilla, and cayenne.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and baste hens with BBQ mixture.
  • Continue roasting for 30 minutes or until hens are browned and juices run clear when breast is pierced with knife. Baste with BBQ mixture every 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. No carving needed!

    Wild Rice Stuffing with pecans and cherries recipe coming soon!

    Lindsay Jones

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