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Crisp Cornish Game Hens with Spiced Cranberry-Honey Glaze

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 hen half)
Coat the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring honey, and it will slip out easily. Red pepper adds kick to the glaze.

Ingredients

  • Hens:
  • 2 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Glaze:
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 407
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 12.8 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 5.9 g
  • polyfat 2.5 g
  • protein 49.9 g
  • carbohydrate 21.6 g
  • fiber 0.8 g
  • cholesterol 225 mg
  • iron 1.9 mg
  • sodium 372 mg
  • calcium 41 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.

  2. To prepare hens, remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine thyme, salt, black pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Rub surface of hens with thyme mixture.

  3. To prepare glaze, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove, and cook 1 minute. Add cranberries, juice, honey, cinnamon, and red pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy.

  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hens, breast side down; cook 3 minutes. Place hens, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush hens with half of glaze. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°, brushing occasionally with remaining glaze.

  5. Wine note: Both game birds and cranberry sauce are terrific partners for pinot noir. Because pinot noir has an earthy, sweet character, it perfectly highlights the meaty sweetness of a roasted bird. At the same time, pinot noir's good acidity is just the ticket as a complement to the cranberries. Try La Crema Pinot Noir 2004 from Russian River Valley, California ($29). -Karen MacNeil