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Orange Maple Glazed Cornish Hens

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    Orange Maple Glazed Cornish Hens

    (pictured with Cornbread Stuffing)

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    Look for organic poultry in your local health food store or ask if they can do a special order for you. Plenty of suppliers now offer naturally raised, organic, non-medicated, and free-range animals that generally have less saturated fat and more flavour. The organic label is the ideal as standards require animals to be raised without antibiotics, hormones, or growth stimulants. Also, humane treatment and access to the outdoors are stipulated, and the animals must be fed 100-percent certified organic feed and must graze in certified organic pastures. Game birds can be cut in half for quicker cooking times or left whole for a traditional look. Ask the butcher to cut them or cut them in half at home with a sharp butcher’s knife.

    3/4 cup (185 mL) fresh orange juice
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) grated fresh ginger
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari soy sauce
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) water
    2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch or arrowroot powder
    Extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Cornish hens
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
    2 large oranges cut into slices
    Fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme

    Preheat oven to 475°F (240°C). Combine orange juice, ginger, maple syrup, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Combine water and cornstarch or arrowroot in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir cornstarch into juice mixture and cook, whisking constantly until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes.

    Oil roasting pan with olive oil and place hens on it. Sprinkle hens with salt and ground ginger. Spoon juice mixture evenly over hen halves and add orange slices and fresh herbs for garnish. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake 35 minutes or until thermometer registers 180°F (82°C). Baste occasionally if desired.

    Serves 4.

    source: "Easy Traditional Elegance", alive #278, December 2005

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    Orange Maple Glazed Cornish Hens

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