Ruby-Glazed Cornish hens on warm spinach salad
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings
3 large Cornish hens, thawed
salt, freshly ground pepper
½ cup currant jam or jelly
1/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 TBs Dijon mustard
8 cups young spinach leaves (stems trimmed), rinsed, chilled
4 slices lean bacon cut into small dice
3 TBS canola oil
1 ½ TBS each: red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar
½ TB water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsps sugar
½ cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 TBS dried cranberries
4 thin slices red onion
Put a rack in lower third of over, set oven at 400 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan (big enough to hold hens in a single layer) with tin foil. Set aside.
Split the hens in half. Cut out the backbone from each half using kitchen shears. Rinse hens well and blot dry with paper towels. Generously season hens with salt and pepper. Place skin side up in prepared pan. Mix jam, cranberry juice, mustard, ¼ tsp salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
Roast hens 30 minutes. Brush on glaze. Bake until deeply colored and juices run clear, about 25 minutes longer, brushing glaze once more half way through the cooking. Remove hens from oven. Brush on any remaining glaze. Let rest 10 minutes, loosely tented with foil.
For salad, put spinach leaves in large bowl. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Cook bacon in 8-inch non stick skillet over medium high heat until well-browned and crisp, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Use slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper towels. Spill off and discard any excess bacon fat from pan but do not wipe it out.
Add remaining infredients and ½ tsp salt to pan (except onions and a few dried cranberries to use as a garnish). Stir until well-mixed. Simmer 1 minute. Can be made several hours ahead to this point and kept at room temperature or refrigerated overnight.
To serve, heat dressing in pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion slices, separating slices into rings. Remove from heat. Pour hot dressing over spinach. Toss well to coat spinach with dressing. Adjust seasoning. Divide salad between 6 plates, arranging a few onions and cranberries over surface. Sprinkle bacon over, dividing evenly. Place hens on warm spinach salad. Serve immediately.
Hope you enjoy!