ROASTED CORNISH HENS WITH POMEGRANATE AND HONEY
2-3 pomegranates – enough to make 1 cup fresh juice
1/2 cup honey plus another 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 game hens split in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachio nuts for garnish
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Cut the crown end off of the pomegranates. Lightly score the skin in quarters from the stem to crown end. Gently break the sections apart following the lines. Bend back the skin and gently scoop the seed clusters into a bowl, removing any pith.
For 1 cup of juice, put 1 1-2 cups seeds in a blender (reserving some for garnish if desired) and puree until liquefied. Then pour mixture through a fine or cheesecloth lined sieve.
Place hen halves in a shallow baking dish. Combine pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup honey, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic and pour over hens. Cover and marinate in the fridge, overnight or at least 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Drain hens and reserve the marinade. Simmer marinade, covered for 10 minutes; reserve. Season hens with salt and pepper and roast in a 450F oven until hens are just firm to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Baste occasionally. Remove from oven and let rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes. Brush each half with honey. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios.
Serve with couscous or basmati rice.