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Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes: Bay-Soaked Cornish Game Hens in Raspberry-Sage Glaze

| October/November 2009

  • By Howard Lee Puckett

Serves 4 to 6

Though pheasant may have been on the first Thanksgiving feast menu, Cornish hens are more readily available today.

• 1 cup chicken broth
• 4 bay leaves, crumbled
• 1/4 cup red wine
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
• 2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• Four 1 1/2-pound Cornish hens
• Salt
• Pepper
• 4 whole bay leaves
• Raspberry-Sage Glaze (recipe below)
• Fresh raspberries and sage sprigs, for garnish

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil; add crumbled bay leaves. Cover and steep 20 to 30 minutes. Combine chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, ginger and garlic in a large zip-top freezer bag; add Cornish hens. Seal and chill 8 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare Raspberry-Sage Glaze.

3. Remove Cornish hens from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle hens with salt and pepper. Tie ends of legs together, if desired, and place on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan. Insert a bay leaf in each cavity.

4. Bake 30 minutes. Baste with Raspberry-Sage Glaze. Bake an additional 45 to 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Serve with Cornbread-Sage Dressing (recipe on Page 36) and remaining Raspberry-Sage Glaze. Garnish with fresh raspberries and sage sprigs.

Raspberry-Sage Glaze

• 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
• 1 cup water or chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon cold water

1. Bring first five ingredients (through sage) to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to  simmer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until raspberries fall apart. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small saucepan.

2. Combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring until smooth. Stir mixture into raspberry sauce; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until mixture thickens.

Frequent contributor Kris Wetherbee writes and gardens in the hills of western Oregon. 

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