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Roast Pomegranate and Walnut Cornish Game Hen with Couscous

From: Tina Salter

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Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens, cut in half, rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • ½ cup Diamond Walnuts
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup quick cooking couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup Diamond Walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool; coarsely chop. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Brush the hens all over with the pomegranate molasses; arrange the hens in an oven-proof pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer; drizzle over any remaining molasses and dribble in the water around the base of the hens. Roast, basting every 15 minutes or so with the pan juices, until golden and the juices run clear, about 35 minutes. Transfer hens to a serving platter and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to the roasting pan and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up any of the dark bits and pieces that have formed in the bottom of the pan. Pour the juices through a fine-meshed strainer into a small bowl; discard the solids in the strainer. Reheat and add the walnuts to the strained juices. Pour over the rested hens.

To make the couscous: In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the apple; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the couscous, salt and pepper over the onion and apple mixture and stir well. Pour in the boiling water and cover tightly. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly fluff the couscous with a fork; stir in the walnuts and thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To assemble: Spoon couscous into the middle of 4 warmed plates; arrange half of a game hen on top of the couscous. Spoon the pomegranate walnut glaze over the hens and garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Note: Pomegranate molasses are available at good supermarkets and Middle Eastern ethnic stores.


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