"The tradition of Italian cooking is that of the matriarch. This is the cooking of grandma. She didn't waste time thinking too much about the celery. She got the best celery she could and then she dealt with it."--Mario Batali

Game Hens with Orange Marsala Sauce Recipe

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This recipe for Game Hens with Orange Marsala Sauce, by , is from Aelred and Rita Wagner Family Cookbook , one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Wil Wagner
Added: Thursday, June 12, 2008


For the Compound Butter
Combine; Spread Under Skin:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon orange zest, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Hens
Prepare Hens:
2 Cornish game hens, thawed (24 ounces each)

For the Sauce
1/4 cup pancetta or bacon, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Deglaze with; Reduce:
1/4 cup dry marsala or sherry

Add and Simmer:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup orange zest, thinly sliced

Off Heat, Whisk in:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Serve with:
Orange Green Beans, see online recipe

Prepare hens; use sharp kitchen shears to remove the backbone it's much easier than cutting with a knife. It'll take some muscle to split through the breastbone, but a large, sharp knife helps ease the task.Cook hens; remove from pan and rest. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat left from cooking the hens.

Combine ingredients for the compound butter. Place 1 tablespoon butter under skin of each hen half.

Prepare hens, lightly oiling them and seasoning with salt and pepper. Sear them, skin side down, in a large saute pan over high heat, for 5 minutes. Flip hens, then place the pan in the oven; roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove hens from pan and let rest, uncovered, 5 - 10 minutes.

Saute pancetta over medium-high heat in the same pan. When golden, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Deglaze with marsala; simmer until reduced to 1 tablespoon.

Add broth, juice, and zest; simmer for 5 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in the cold butter and basil.

Serve with green beans.

Whisk in the cold butter until completely melted. The constant whisking action helps emulsify the butter.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
4 halves
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I got this recipe from CuisineRecipes.com [CuisineRecipes@Lists.CuisineRecipes.com]




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