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Cornish Hens with Creamy Chipotle Sauce Recipe
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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 sauce.

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


Sugar (optional)

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 roughly chop.

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.


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