Tired of turkey at your holiday meal? Serve up these Cornish game hens instead.
If desired before roasting, slit hens in half. Using kitchen shears, cut out backbone. Lay hens open and use kitchen shears or a large kitchen knife to cut through the breast bone, just off center. Twist wings under backs. On a rack in large shallow roasting pan, place hens, cut side down. (Or roast hens whole, breast side up.) Brush with oil.
Roast halved hens, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 55 to 60 minutes; roast whole hens for 1 to 11/4 hours or until drumsticks move easily in sockets and juices run clear.
While hens roast, prepare Port Sauce. Brush hens with sauce during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting. Final internal temperature should be 180 degree F. Makes 4 servings.
In a small saucepan, combine orange juice; the 1/3 cup water; the port wine; blackberry spreadable fruit; sherry vinegar; shallot; ginger; garlic; thyme; bouillon granules; cayenne pepper (if desired); and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes to reduce to 1 cup. Strain sauce; return to pan. Stir the 2 tablespoons cold water into the cornstarch. Add to sauce. Cook and stir until bubbly. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 days. In a small saucepan, reheat sauce over low heat.