This dish is especially tasty and can be put out very nicely on a platter when serving guests. Each guest receives one whole bird or half, depending on their size. I developed this recipe especially for the meal eaten on the Holiday of Purim, in keeping with the theme of wine.
- 4 Cornish hens -
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil -
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper -
- ¾ cup dry white wine -
- ¾ cup homemade chicken soup -
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard -
- Juice of half a lemon -
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. To butterfly the Cornish hens, cut out the backbone completely, using sharp poultry scissors to cut on either side of it (the backbone is attached to the neck). Flatten the Cornish hens by pressing the centers down. Place skin-side up in a greased roasting pan. Rub skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.
3. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring wine and chicken soup to a simmer and let cook down until reduced to half the amount. Add mustard and lemon juice and stir until combined and just beginning to thicken. Remove from heat.
4. When Cornish hens are done, remove from oven and brush with glaze (also reserve some for serving). Return Cornish hens to oven for 5 to 6 minutes before serving. Pour any leftover sauce onto the hens before serving.
NOTE; You can make these 3 hours in advance. Just return them to the oven for the last 5 to 6 minutes right before serving.
SERVING SUGGESTION: You may want to pile the poultry onto a bed of rice and mix the extra gravy into the rice. Garnish with fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley.