Cornish Game Hens in Champagne Sauce


True Cornish game hens are young female Cornish chickens weighing about 2 pounds. They make an elegant single serve entry. And they are easy to roast like a chicken. Perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a smaller dinner party.

I am a big fan of spices and seasonings when I cook, using very little salt relying on fresh and dried herbs and spices to flavor food. When I was young I would help my grandmother who immigrated from Italy harvest her vegetables for winter canning. We’d sit for hours at her red and white enamel kitchen table and I’d watch her braid fresh garlic and tie peppers together, then she would hang them in her cellar to dry. As soon as you stepped into the cellar the pungent aroma assailed your senses.


2 Cornish Hens

1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

fresh thyme sprigs

fresh rosemary sprigs

2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half

1 lemon, sliced in half

2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup dry champagne or sparkling wine, at room temperature

salt and pepper

1 cup baby carrots

Preheat oven 375 F

Rinse hens and pat dry. Stuff each hen cavity with half of the cranberries, next thyme, and rosemary, then cloves and finish with the lemon half. Truss the hen legs. Combine butter and champagne. Pour over hens. Season with salt and pepper. Place baby carrots around the hens.

Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. Baste hens every 15 minutes. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.

Serve over Israel couscous.



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