Recipe by Annacia
This is the perfect entrée for a holiday dinner for two. Complete the meal with sautéed green beans and wild mushrooms and a wild-rice pilaf with chopped fresh parsley and hazelnuts. For dessert? Chocolate mousse topped with rum-spiked whipped cream and chopped crystallized ginger.
Top Review by eabare
I made this recipe using frozen dark sweet cherries and dried ranier cherries. I left out the brown sugar and the grape juice because they added extra sugar for no purpose. Frying the hen at a low temperature produces a dark brown crisp skin without the added sweetness. Also cooking the backbone and neck from the hen with chicken broth to use in the sauce gives a much more concentrated flavor. I used a little bit of shallot in the pan to make the sauce. This was a good idea and an excellent recipe.
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 lbs Cornish hens, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
- 1⁄2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup white grape juice
- 1⁄3 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
- 1⁄4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 450°F Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl.
- Sprinkle hen halves with salt and pepper. Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture.
- Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add hen halves, skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes.
- Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to small rimmed baking sheet.
- Reserve skillet (mixture will be dark). Roast hen halves until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with fork, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in small bowl.
- Add broth, grape juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet.
- Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes.
- Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries. Simmer until sauce coats spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer hen halves to plates.
- Spoon sauce over and serve.