Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 hen half)

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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

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