Monday, November 15, 2010

Cornish Game Hen with Garlic and Rosemary paired with Champagne Risotto

With Thanksgiving around the corner, everyone is gearing up for the one night when they succumb to the gluttonous pleasures of one of the biggest meals of the year. Though the thought of seeing my family excites me to no end, the thought of stuffing myself with turkey (yet again) was somewhat less than exciting this year for some reason. I want something different!!! Why is always the same thing?

Now please don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving is a tradition in my family and I have been making it by my mother’s side my whole life. Sipping wine, trading secrets and throwing pie dough is one of our favorite pastimes. Though the amazing meal is always due to my mother’s epic cooking skills, I am always in charge of the pies.

Because traditions are sacred, I decided to try something different for one of my Sunday dinners. I thoroughly enjoy duck when I come across it but I wanted to try something I’ve never had before. (Big surprise!) So I called my local grocery store and had them set aside some fresh Cornish Game Hen for me. My friend, Navanjali, gave me the idea for champagne risotto to pair with it. Well, that and I wanted to have an excuse to buy a bottle of champagne for myself. What?! 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! 

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2.      Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
3.      Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting
about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
4.      Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.

Champagne Risotto

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2/3 cup arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 1 cup dry Champagne
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; sauté 1 minute. Add rice; sauté 2 minutes. Add Champagne; simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 can broth; simmer until rice is almost tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Just remember…..I’m in charge of the pies! 

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