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Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Armagnac Jus and Pearl Onions

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 Cornish hens, legs tied with butchers twine
1 lb. red pearl onions
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 heads garlic, roughly smashed
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary
4 sage leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup Armagnoc or Cognac
1/4 cup butter, cold
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, toss together chopped celery, pearl onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a roasting pan and spread evenly. On top of the mixture, place the Cornish hens in the roasting pan. Generously season the hens with salt and pepper and stuff with smashed garlic. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to the pan and continue to bake the hens for an additional 25-30 minutes. Transfer the hens from the pan to rest. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Add Armagnac to deglaze the pan, turning down the heat momentarily to make sure you do not flambé. Simmer the mixture until reduced by half then add butter. Once the butter is melted, slowly whisk in flour. Let the mixture cook for about 2 minutes then pour in 2 cups of chicken stock. Whisk mixture together and cook for another 3-5 minutes until a gravy-like consistency has developed. If the mixture becomes too thick just add a touch of water. Slice the hens in half and slowly drizzle the sauce on top. This dish is perfect for warming up on a cold evening!

Pair with 2014 Petit Verdot

Photo by Andrea Hubbell

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