- Four 1 1/4-pound Cornish hens
- 16 cilantro sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium orange, zest finely grated and orange quartered
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ginger preserves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, slivered
- 1 3/4 pounds radicchio, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Using your fingertips, carefully loosen the breast skin of each hen; tuck the cilantro sprigs under the skin. Season the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck an orange quarter into each one. Set the hens on a baking sheet, rub them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the hens for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the orange juice, honey, ginger preserves, cayenne and orange zest and cook until syrupy, about 4 minutes. Brush the glaze all over the Cornish hens.
- Broil the hens for about 2 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer the hens to a serving platter and keep warm; reserve the pan juices.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the radicchio and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in any reserved pan juices, season the radicchio with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Spoon the radicchio onto plates, top with the hens and serve.
The sweet and spicy flavors here suggest Viognier, which has similar notes of honey, orange and ginger. Pick a fruity, single-grape example or a blend.