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Side dishes for raspberry and balsamic-glazed Cornish hens

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For (Canadian) Thanksgiving this year, I am making raspberry balsamic-glazed Cornish hens wrapped in bacon, but I am at a loss as to what side dishes to serve with the hens. My Mom's boyfriend is making a butternut squash soup as a starter, and I'm making pumpkin something for dessert; maybe a mousse instead of a pie. Side dishes must be mushroom-free, but other than that, there are no restrictions.

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  1. Roasted new potatoes and a parsley salad to refresh your palate?

    1. A lovely risotto and some braised greens would go nicely with these delicious-sounding hens. Maybe something with a tinge of bitter, like broccoli rabe, to complement the sweetness of the glaze, or some fennel. I'm thinking a really simple diced zucchini risotto, w/ chicken stock, white wine, and Parm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mamachef

        You just reminded me of a delicious fennel risotto I had a few months ago at a restaurant in Berlin - I need to try to recreate that. It would be perfect with those hens, too.

      2. Mashed sweet potatoes with maple syrup and chili/ancho/smoked paprika. Something sweet and something smokey.

        1. Between the butternut soup and bacon wrapped chicken, I think (even for a holiday) something a bit greener and lighter. I'd roast some brussel sprouts (maybe with some crushed hazelnuts) and add a fennel citrus salad.

          If you want a carb side dish I would just watch texture and flavor combinations. Between squash soup and pumkin mousse, I wouldn't add mashed sweet potatoes. Maybe a traditional oyster stuffing?

          1. White and wild rice mixture with some toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, etc)

            Roasted acorn squash mashed with some butter and real maple syrup (Canadian symbol!)

            Roasted carrots tossed with some lemon juice and honey