Cornish Game Hens with Pomegranate & Black Garlic
We like black garlic. I mean, we like it A LOT!
In fact, we like black garlic so much that we can't help but keep coming up with new ways to use it. Black garlic's subtly sweet and complex flavor goes beautifully with the fruity tang of Pomegranate Molasses and roasted root vegetables in this new recipe. After a little experimentation, we came up with this variation on a classic roasted game hen that is succulent and amazingly delicious.
While you're at it, make up a little extra of the black garlic butter described below. It's great on just about everything - toasted baguette rounds, baked potatoes or simply dolloped onto grilled steaks, chicken breasts, fish or vegetables.
How can something so simple be so darned good?
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Stir together the pomegranate molasses and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Blend the black garlic and softened butter in a food processor or using a fork.
With your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the hens, making sure to leave the skin attached in the middle of the breast. Separate the skin on the legs and thighs as well.
Spread the black garlic butter under the skin, making sure to get it into all the nooks. Massage the outside of the hen to distribute the butter evenly. Salt and pepper the interior of the hens. If any black garlic butter is left, slather it inside the hens and put one lemon rind half from juicing into each cavity. Tie the hen legs together with kitchen twine and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the vegetables around and between the hens on the baking sheet.
Slip the hens & vegetables into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Brush the hens with the pomegranate molasses mixture. Return them to the oven and continue roasting, basting twice more, approximately every 15 minutes for total of 30 minutes additional cooking time. Rotate the baking sheet each time you baste the hens for even browning.
The hens are done when juices run clear when pierced at the thigh or when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
Remove the hens from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the vegetables with the lemon juice. Carve the hens or serve whole, with the vegetables.