Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oven Braised Cornish Hen with Capers and Apricots

For Christmas, I received a beautiful, almond-colored 5 qt. Matha Stewart dutch oven. I must say that my first meal in it was one of the best things I cooked all of last year. Seriously? Amazing. I think the fresh herbs really brought a lot of great flavor to the dish. And I'm so proud that I developed this recipe on my own, something I hope to do more of in 2010.

I really think you all should try this one. It's a very fancy dish, but relatively easy to prepare.

1 cornish game hen

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
¼ C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh sage
2 Tbsp apricot preserves
1 Tbsp capers
2 C chicken stock
½ C dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse the Cornish hen with cold water and pat dry. Trim any excess fat and split the hen in half lengthwise.

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the pieces in the flour mixture.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the hen pieces and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.

Add the shallots and garlic. Sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bits from the pan. Add the apricot preserves and capers. Stir and add the chicken stock. Return the hen pieces to the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until hen is done.

Remove the hen pieces from the pot and keep warm. Reduce the broth mixture by half over high heat for 10-15 minutes. Pour the liquid over the hen and serve.

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