Spice-Rubbed Game Hens with Rhubarb-Date Chutney
To prepare hens: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a 2-inch strip of zest from the orange, then cut the orange in half, squeezing juice out of one half and cutting the remaining half into 4 wedges. Place 2 tablespoons juice and the strip of zest in a medium saucepan for Step 4. Tuck an orange wedge into the cavity of each game hen. Sprinkle the remaining orange juice over the hens and place breast side up in a large roasting pan,Advertisement
leaving plenty of space between them.
Stir together 1 tablespoon brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture over the hens and tie the legs together with kitchen string, if desired.
Roast the hens until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 hour. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, to prepare chutney: Add vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon to the orange juice and zest in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add rhubarb and dates, increase heat to medium-high and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the rhubarb is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Just before serving, remove orange zest.
To serve: Remove string (if necessary) and skin from each hen. Turn breast-side down and slice in half lengthwise using a large heavy knife, cutting straight through to the breast side. Serve each portion with 1/4 cup of the chutney.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the chutney (Step 4) for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 weeks. To reheat, microwave on High for about 2 minutes or warm in a saucepan over low heat.
Equipment: Kitchen string (optional)
Note: Cornish game hens, a naturally smaller breed of chicken, are a cross between Plymouth Rock and Cornish chickens. Usually weighing less than 2 pounds, one bird will comfortably serve two. If you can't find fresh hens, look for them in the freezer section. To retain moisture, hens should be prepared with the skin on, but to reduce fat and calories, remove the skin before eating.
1 other carbohydrate, 5 lean meat