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Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Pomegranate, Honey and Cinnamon

Sunday, January 10, 2010
Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Pomegranate, Honey and Cinnamon

I know, I know. Pomegranate is out already, big time, not to mention Christmas. And instead here we keep turning a blind eye.
The thing is, although I can't stand all that Christmas cheesiness that each year starts haunting us one week earlier, when Christmas comes for real I don't want it to end, ever. That is to say, deep down I too have a soft heart.
Make no mistake here, in this recipe there's very little of pomegranate. Pomegranate molasses (or concentrated juice) is used instead to marinate the meat; it's a typical product of Middle Eastern cooking that I'm fortunate enough to find quite easily here. If you're serious about it, you could as well make it at home - you just need to reduce on the stove some pomegranate juice mixed with a little sugar and lemon juice (as explained here). But it will be for next Christmas.
With this one, I promise, I'll send pomegranate on vacation.

Roasted Game Hen
with Pomegranate, Honey & Cinnamon

game hen 1 each person
(to show off, call it poussin, you'll make quite an impression)
pomegranate molasses 2 or 3 tablespoons each
garlic 1 clove each
cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, olive oil to taste
honey 1-2 tablespoon each

Rinse the game hens and pat them dry them thoroughly on the inside as well. Mix the molasses with plenty of cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper and slivered garlic. Pour the marinade over the hens and rub them so that the flavor gets everywhere. Let them rest in the refrigerator, covered with plastic, for at least 8 hours, turning them occasionally.
After this time, drain the hens from the marinade, sprinkle each one with salt and pepper, and tie their legs with kitchen twine. Arrange them chest side up on an greased baking pan, and bake at about 390-430 (depending on their size) for approximately 40 minutes. At the end, brush them with the honey and bake 5 more minutes.
Serve each hen on a individual plate and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and pomegranate seeds.