Roasted citrus-herb game hen

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves2
  • DifficultyEasy
2 poussins
4 tbsps olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 tbsps orange zest, from 2 medium oranges
2 tbsps lemon zest, from about 3 lemons
2 tbsps chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsps chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
480ml low-sodium chicken stock
30ml Marsala wine or dry sherry
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml fresh orange juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries or currants
2 tsps plain flour
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1) Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 8.

2) Rinse the poussins and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, thyme, mint, salt and pepper. Rub two tablespoons of the zest mixture over the skin of the poussins. Place the remainder of the zest mixture under the skin and into the cavities of the poussins. Using kitchen string, truss the legs together. Place the hens in a shallow 23cm x 33cm baking dish.

3) Add the chicken stock, Marsala wine, lemon juice, orange juice and cranberries to the pan. Put the birds in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the leg juices run clear. Remove the poussins and set aside.

4) Place the plain flour in a small saucepan. Whisk in the pan juices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

To serve, remove the kitchen string and place the poussins on two serving plates. Drizzle with the citrus-herb sauce.

Cook's note: Reserve 60ml of the citrus-herb sauce for Giada's Crouton Salad recipe.

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