Cornish Hens with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
The succulent meat from these high-heat roasted hens is a wonderful foil for the creamy, spicy pan sauce. A stack of warm tortillas or roasted or baked potatoes complete the dish.
- Four 1 1/4-pound Cornish game hens
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 1 large white onion, sliced 3/8-inch thick
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
- Salt, preferably coarse
- Rinse the hens and pat dry. Set them in a bowl and coat with the Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans and onion slices until both are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and spread out on a tray to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Scrape the marinade from the hens back into the bowl and stir in the cream. Set the hens, breast side up, in a large oiled roasting pan with the legs facing out. Brush the hens with the oil, season with salt and roast in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Arrange the beans and onions around the hens, pour the marinade over and roast for about 20 minutes longer, or until the thigh juices run clear when pierced.
- Transfer the hens and vegetables to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil. Spoon off any fat from the pan sauce. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners on moderate heat and boil, scraping up any browned bits, for 1 minute. Season with salt. Spoon half of the sauce around the hens and serve with the remaining sauce.
The cream softens the salsa's heat, so a light-bodied red is ideal. Pinot Noir has enough acidity to check the fatty sauce, and enough tart cherry flavor to accent the poultry. Look for California examples. Serve slightly chilled.