Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Game Hens with Orange Marsala Sauce

I love the perfect serving size of a Cornish game hen - split it in half and it is the perfect serving for two people.  I took a hen and cut the backbone out of it.  I then split it in half through the breast and it gave me the perfect serving size.  I spread a compound butter under the skin which added a great layer of flavor.  I also drizzled the outside of the hen halves with a little olive oil and seasonsed with salt and pepper before searing them.  Once they were golden brown, I flipped them over and finished them in the oven.  Once done, I let them rest while I prepared the orange marsala sauce in the same skillet.  I served these with potato salad and carrots.

Game Hens with Orange Marsala Sauce
Makes 2 servings

For the compound butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1 Cornish game hen, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
2 slices bacon, diced
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dry marsala
1/4 cup chick broth
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Zest of 1/2 of an orange
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, sliced
1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Using kitchen shears, cut backbone out of hen.  Cut hen in half lengthwise through breast bone. 

Combine ingredients for the compound butter.  Place 1 tablespoon butter under skin of each hen half.  Lightly oil the outside of the hens with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sear them, skin side down, in a large saute pan over high heat, for 5 minutes.  Flip hens, then place the pan in the oven; roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Remove hens from pan and let rest, uncovered, 5-10 minutes.  (Use the same pan to make the sauce).

Drain excess oil from the pan, leaving 1/2 tablespoon.  Saute bacon over medium-high heat  in same pan.  When golden, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Deglaze with marsala; simmer until reduced to 1 tablespoon.  Add broth, juice, and zest; simmer for 5 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in the cold butter and basil.

Slightly adapted from Cuisine at Home, June 2004

My rating:

No comments:

Post a Comment