Go Gluten Free magazine asked me to adapt my favorite go-to holiday dish for their gluten-free audience and it was as simple as swapping a tablespoon of flour with cornstarch. I was also so grateful for a chance to update the pictures and simplify the sauce preparation. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the old recipe.
I can’t tell you how much I love this dish. It’s perfect for a romantic Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Valentine’s meal for two. It can also be doubled or tripled for entertaining. The equipment is simple – just a pot, a pan and a cookie sheet. When I’m preparing this for two I’ll just cook it in my little toaster oven and can use the real oven for any sides. Best of all is that it only takes about a half hour to prepare so you can spend most of your time with the loved ones you’re cooking for.
Actually, the quick and easy aspect isn’t even the best part. The real best part is how mouthwateringly delicious this is. The brown sugar and thyme butter is exquisite and gives so much flavor to the bird. And then the sauce… I’m salivating just thinking about it. Tart, sweet, and perfectly savory it’s the perfect compliment for the hen.
I usually buy extra cranberries during the holiday season and freeze them so I can make this dish throughout the year. Give this a try next time you want to make something special without spending a lot of time or money.
- 1 Cornish game hen, 1-1/2 - 2 lbs
- 2 tbs butter, softened
- 1-1/2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Triple Cranberry Sauce
- 1 c low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, divided
- 1/2 tbs corn starch
- 3/4 c unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1/4 c fresh cranberries
- 3/4 c white wine
- 3 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1/4 c dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 450.
Rinse the hens and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Halve lengthwise, remove the backbone, and trim any excess fat. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine butter, brown sugar and 2 tbs fresh thyme in a small bowl. Rub butter mixture over hens and slip some under the skin.
Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the hens, skin side down. Cook until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes and turn. Cook the other side an additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove from pan and place chicken halves on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. Reserve the pan juices. Cook hens in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the juices run clear.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Whisk together corn starch and 1/4 c chicken broth and set aside.
Pour off excess pan juices leaving about 1 tbs in the bottom of the pan. Add remaining chicken broth, cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, white wine and sugar. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced by about half, stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium and add sugar, thyme, dried cranberries and corn starch slurry. Simmer until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
Serve cornish game hen with cranberry sauce and enjoy.
Total Fat 23.6g
Saturated Fat 10.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 42.7g
Dietary Fiber 2.6g
Weight Watchers Points: 12