Give this classic dish a try.
Mario Batali's Game Hens with Pomegranate
- Seeds of 1 large Pomegranate
- 1 cup Sweet Marsala
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Mint (chopped)
- 6 Cornish Game Hens
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 12 Fresh Sage Leaves
- Zest of 2 Oranges (cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
- 1 Sweet Potato (cubed)
- 2 Leeks (2-inch long strips)
- 3 Parsnips (cubed)
- In a small bowl, just cover the pomegranate seeds with the Marsala. Gently mix in the mint and set aside, covered, for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Season the birds inside and out with salt and pepper. Drain the pomegranate seeds, reserving the liquid. Stuff the birds with half of the seeds, reserving the remainder for later. Using a kitchen twine, tie together the legs of each bird.
- In a large ovenproof saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil over high heat (if necessary, use two pans). Add 3 of the sage leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the hens and brown well on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, leeks and parsnips to pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 9 sage leaves and reserved pomegranate seeds.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, drizzling 3 tablespoons of the reserved Marsala over the hens, and dot with 4 tablespoons of the remaining butter. Baste the hens with the pan juices and roast for 10 more minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add the orange zest and cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently so that the zest absorbs the butter. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the hens to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the orange zest and drizzle the pan juices, with the pomegranate seeds, over them. Serve immediately.