- 1/4 C sugar
- 3/4 C kosher salt
- 1 gallon water (see notes)
- 2 Cornish game hens (giblets removed if necessary)
- 1 C honey
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
- pomegranate seeds (optional)
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove hens from bag and discard brine. Completely rinse hens, including cavity, in cool water, and pat dry.
3. Stir honey and juice together until well combined (see notes).
4. Tie the legs of each hen together with kitchen twine. Glaze both sides of hens with approximately 2 Tbsp honey mixture per bird. Place hens breast side down on an elevated rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 1 hour, re-glazing birds with more honey mixture every 15 minutes and rotating the pan each time. After the first 30 minutes, flip hens over in the pan.
5. After a total of 1 hour of cooking, or when meat thermometer reads 160-165°F, remove birds from pan and allow to rest. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, reduce any remaining honey mixture over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
6. Pour reduced sauce over hens and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds if desired.
Robyn's notes: brining can be skipped if desired, but will help keep roasted birds juicy. The brining liquid can be all water, all chicken or vegetable broth, or a combination, as long as it totals 1 gallon. Birds start breast side down so that the juices will move down into the breast and help to keep it from drying out as the darker meat cooks. Even though the birds cook for 1 hour, it takes a few minutes to do each of the three glazes, rotate the pan, and flip the hens. With that and resting time, plan to serve about 90 minutes after the birds first go into the oven. I seeded a pomegranate and used fresh juice, but store-bought juice can be substituted. The amount of juice added to the honey is by taste. Start with 2 Tbsp, and if the pomegranate flavour isn't strong enough, add more. I used a strong local honey that required quite a bit more juice to balance the flavour. After the sauce is reduced, it will harden very quickly if left in the pan or in a bowl, so pour it over the birds right away and set everything to soak while you enjoy dinner. Watch me demonstrate this recipe on youtube!
***** 5 Stars: Excellent. A favourite for both of us, I will make this repeatedly