Cornish Game Hens with Port Sauce

Cornish Game Hens with Port Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Course: Main Dish

Ready for a change up from the usual turkey or ham for your next holiday meal? Let Cornish game hens top the menu. Cook them in an oven bag for an easy-as-pie approach to a company-special meal. Two hens fit in one bag where they cook juicy, tender, and fast. No need to baste. Enjoy your friends while you add the finishing touches to the rest of the meal. Just check the thermometer near the end of the cooking time. Cut open the bag and lift out the hens. After serving and cooling, gather up the oven bag and lift it out of the pan to toss. Best of all: No pan to scrub.

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Ingredients

  • 2 1-1/2-pound Cornish game hens
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 recipe Port Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Flour
  • Disposable oven bag

Directions

Step 1

Place disposable oven bag in a roasting pan according to package directions, shaking at least a tablespoon of flour in the bag. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag. Place whole hens, breast side up, in the disposable oven bag; close bag. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the thigh. Brush with oil. (If desired before roasting, slit hens in half. Using kitchen shears, cut out backbone. Lay hens open and use kitchen shears or a large kitchen knife to cut through the breast bone, just off center. Twist wings under backs. Lay them, cut side down, in the disposable oven bag. Continue as directed, cooking for 55 to 60 minutes.)

Step 2

Roast hens, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 1 to 11/4 hours or until drumsticks move easily in sockets and juices run clear.

Step 3

While hens roast, prepare Port Sauce. Brush hens with sauce during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting. Final internal temperature should be 180 degree F. Makes 4 servings.

Step 4

Port Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup orange juice; 1/3 cup water; 1/4 cup port wine; 1/4 cup blackberry spreadable fruit; 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar; 2 tablespoons minced shallot; 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed; 1/4 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired); and 1 bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes to reduce to 1 cup. Strain sauce; return to pan. Stir 2 tablespoons cold water into 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add to sauce. Cook and stir until bubbly. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 days. In a small saucepan, reheat sauce over low heat.

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