Cornish Hens with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
4 each Cornish game hens, about 1 1/4 pounds
2 1/2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 large white onion, sliced 3/8" thick
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil salt, preferably coarse
Rinse the hens and pat dry. Set them in a bowl
and coat with the Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa. Cover and let
stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans and
onion slices until both are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and
spread out on a tray to cool.
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Scrape the marinade from the hens back
into the bowl and stir in the cream. Set the hens, breast side up,
in a large oiled roasting pan with the legs facing out. Brush hens
with the oil, season with salt and roast in the middle of the oven
for 15 minutes.
Arrange the beans and onions around the hens, pour the marinade over
and roast for about 20 minutes longer, or until the thigh juices run
clear when pierced.
Transfer the hens and vegetables to a serving platter and cover
loosely with foil. Spoon off any fat from the pan sauce. Set the
roasting pan over 2 burners on moderate heat and boil, scraping up
any browned bits, for 1 minute. Season with salt.
Spoon half of the sauce around the hens and serve with the remaining
Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
4 to 6 dried chipotle chiles, stems discarded, or 4 to 5 chipotles
in adobo sauce
6 large unpeeled garlic cloves
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
If using dried chiles, heat a dry griddle or
heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add half the chiles and toast,
pressing down on them with a metal spatula, until they start to
crackle. Turn and toast the other side. Transfer to a bowl and
repeat with the remaining chiles. Cover the chiles with hot water
and let soften for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the
chiles. If using canned chiles, simply wipe off the adobo.
Heat a dry griddle and toast the garlic, turning occasionally, until
softened and blackened in spots about 15 minutes. Let cool, peel and
Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Spread the tomatillos on a rimmed
baking sheet and broil for about 8 minutes, turning once, or until
blackened in spots and softened. Let cool.
Scrape the tomatillos and any accumulated juices into a food
processor or blender and add the chiles and roasted garlic. Puree
until thickened and smooth. For a chunkier salsa, pulse the
tomatillos and roasted garlic until coarsely pureed. Finely chop the
chiles and add them to the tomatillo mixture. Transfer the salsa to
a bowl and stir in 6 to 8 tablespoons of water so the salsa has a
spoonable consistency. Season with salt, plus a little sugar, if you
want to soften the tangy edge.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.