I use a modified verion of Paula Dean's Honey Game Hens. It marinates overnight and combines flavors of honey, orange, and soy sauce. Many times, I am only cooking for two. Therefore, I only use two hens. I keep the rest of the portions the same - because I like the sauce. I like to stuff the cavity with orange slices/onion while cooking in order to infuse the flavors. I often 'cheat' and place both hens (along with the sauce) in the crock pot to cook, and it comes out very tender. After completion, I thicken the sauce and serve with sides of noodles, rice, or wild rice. I also include a side of veggies (usually some variation of green beens) and bread. I really impressed my s.o. with this for our first Thanksgiving dinner, after spending a busy day with our own families. However, it could be prepared at any time of year. Good luck on your meal!!
Butterflied Peppered Hens with Hot and Spicy Ginger
(adapted from In the Hands of a Cook - Jody Adams)
2 (1-1/12) Cornish game hens - butterflied
1 1/2t hot pepper flakes
1T fresh grated ginger
2-4 garlic cloves
1 1/2t fennel or anise seeds
Rub hens with oil and the above ingredients and marinate 1-24 hours. To cook, add and heat oil in two medium hot cast iron pans, put hens skin side down and place a heavy weight on top (a brick). Cook for 20 minutes, turn, replace brick, and cook another 20 min until done and skin is crispy. Remove the breastbones and set aside.
1 1/2t grated ginger
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 shallots thinly sliced
1/2 c dry sherry
2c chicken stock
1t sherry vinegar
In one of the pans, saute until tender the ginger, garlic, and shallots (may need additional oil). Deglaze with sherry and reduce by 3/4. Add the stock and reduce by 2/3 then add butter, vinegar, and salt as needed. Serve under or along side the hens.
Serve with a rice pilaf of dried fruit and nuts.
I've never made them myself, but a good friend makes them all the time. She rubs the hens with olive oil then seasons them with salt, pepper and garlic. She seasons the cavity as well, then stuffs it with a cut up lemon, some parsely, dill and a cut up onion. After the hens have cooked, (she roasts them in her oven at 375 or 400 degrees), she removes the "stuffing" and replaces it with wild rice that she has prepared separately. She always likes to serve fresh asaparagus with pimentos (for color), an assortment of sauteed mushrooms in olive oil and garlic, or some roasted peppers (also different colors). I like stringbeans with slivered almonds. She makes that, too. Enjoy your hens. I'm sure others here will have some great ideas for you.