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Cooking with Spirits

Cooking with Spirits
Cornish Game Hens with Figs & Prosciutto
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
- 8 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) Cornish game hens
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices prosciutto
- Place the strained, reserved fig liquid in a medium saucepan over medium heat and reduce by half

Preheat the broiler. Depending on oven size, the hens can be browned in batches. Arrange the Cornish game hens in a large roasting pan (or pans), skin side up, brush on all sides with the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to 375F, and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully, since the hens and pan will be hot, place slices of fig along the breast and wrap the prosciutto across, tucking under the wings. Continue to bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 170F in the breast and 180F in the thigh. Let rest, loosely covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Warm the sauce and drizzle over each of the hens and serve with remaining whole figs on the side.

For the Figs
Ingredients:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 2 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into 3 pieces
- 12 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 whole star anise or 6 pods
- 12 round, thin slices, peeled, fresh ginger
- 8 thin slices lemon
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 24 dried figs

In a medium, non-reactive pot, combine the sugar, vinegars, rum, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, ginger, lemon, and peppercorns. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the figs, cover, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the figs cool in the syrup.

Strain the liquid and place in a medium saucepan over medium heat and reduce by half.


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