Cornish hen: a small scale, grand Christmas roast
by wire reports
December 03, 2012 12:00 AM | 1032 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
slideshow
My family has always insisted that the centerpiece of our Christmas feast be some kind of show-stopping roast. We’re talking a standing rib roast or whole beef tenderloin. And, as if these prizes were not already rich enough in themselves, we tend to pair them with an extravagant sauce, usually bearnaise. Hey, it’s Christmas.

Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
with Creamy Mustard Sauce


Start to finish: 3 hours 20 minutes

(30 minutes active)

Servings: 4


1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, plus extra to garnish

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 large sprig for the stock, and extra to garnish

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Four 1 1/4-pound Cornish game hens

1 pound chicken wings, separated into joints

1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS


Heat the oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl, combine the sage, thyme leaves, lemon zest and salt.

Very carefully separate the skin from the meat on the breast and thighs of each hen, lifting it lightly from the meat without removing it. Rub a quarter of the herb blend directly onto the breast and thigh meat (under the skin) of each hen. Cover and chill the hens. This step can be done up to 8 hours ahead.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven arrange the chicken wings in a single layer. Roast the wings on the oven’s middle rack for 15 minutes, then turn them and roast for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, tomato paste and the thyme sprig, then roast for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly caramelized. Turn off the oven.

Set the pan of wings and vegetables over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom to release the browned bits. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add the chicken broth and enough cold water to cover the wings by 1 inch. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 2 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the wings covered.

After the liquid has simmered for 1 1/2 hours, heat the oven to 475 F.

Remove the hens from the refrigerator and use paper towels to pat them dry. Coat them lightly with olive oil cooking spray, then use cooking twine to tie the legs together. Arrange the hens on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast them in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted at the leg thigh joint registers 165 F.

Transfer the hens to a platter, and let them rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, when the chicken stock has simmered for 2 hours, strain the mixture into a large bowl, discarding the solids. Skim off and discard any fat on top of the stock. Wipe clean the pot used to make the stock, then pour the stock back into it. Return it to the stovetop over high heat and boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.

In a small cup, whisk together the cornstarch and the evaporated skim milk. While whisking constantly, add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering stock. Continue whisking until thickened, then whisk in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Add the juices from the resting hens to the sauce. Transfer the hens to plates and pour some of the sauce over each one. Garnish with fresh thyme and sage.

Nutrition information per serving: 510 calories; 160 calories from fat (31 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (4.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 265 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 63 g protein; 1220 mg sodium.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides