1 large orange, thinly sliced
2 Cornish game hens, cut lengthwise in half
6 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 C tawny Port
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 Tbs honey
20 whole pitted dates
10 large pitted green olives


Arrange orange slices in bottom of 9x13 glass baking dish. Top with game hens. Mix 4 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped garlic and 1 1/4 tsp cumin in bowl. Rub mixture all over hens. Whisk Tawny Port, oil, vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Pour over hens. Tuck dates and olives between hens. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight, turning hens once. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn hens skin side up. Bake hens with marinade, dates and olives until hens are cooked through, basting occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer hens, dates and olives to platter and cover to keep warm; discard orange slices. Pour pan juices into heavy small saucepan. Add remaining 1/4 tsp cumin and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon some sauce over hens. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbs chopped cilantro and garnish with extra orange slices. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.


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