Rock Cornish hen in pomegranate sauce

Rock Cornish hen in pomegranate sauce with butternut squash and haricotThis is an elegant, exotic, easy-to-make dish. The hen is split or spatchcocked so it does not fight the diner. It also makes the bird roast more evenly. The crisp birds are surrounded by a tangy pomegranate sauce with a hint of saffron and garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
 
Rock Cornish hens are so large these days, about 1½ to 1¾ pounds, so that one makes a nice romantic dinner for two.
 
Spatchcock or split the hens:
Wash and dry the hens. Place the game hen breast side down on a cutting board. Using scissors or poultry shears, cut from the neck to the tailbone to remove the backbone. Flatten the hen by pressing down and cracking the breast bone. Use the scissors to remove the white breast bone. Place in marinade for  2 hours or overnight.
 
Marinade
A quarter-cup of pomegranate molasses (Find this delicious thick syrup, a staple of Middle Eastern cooking, at Middle Eastern groceries, Whole Foods Markets, or specialty grocers.)
 
1 clove of crushed garlic
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
 
Preheat oven 425/220
Remove the bird from the marinade. Dry well and season.
Line a roasting pan with foil and place the well-dried and seasoned hen skin-side up on a rack.
Lightly butter or oil the skin and sprinkle it lightly with coarse Kosher salt.
Roast 25 or 30 minutes; the legs should move freely and juices must be completely clear!
 
Glaze
Simmer together:
2 tbsp. each:
Red current jam, pomegranate molasses, and honey
With 1 clove of garlic and 5 pepper corns.
 
Sauce
Sauté:
2 tsp. butter
1 mince clove of garlic
½ small chopped onions
Add 2 tsp. of flour and cook for 1 minute.
Add and simmer
½ cup pomegranate molasses
½ cup chicken stock with a few threads of good saffron
 
Correct seasoning.
 
To serve remove to a heated platter and cut in half.
Serve with sauce and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and walnut pieces.
Accompany with basmati rice or crisp potatoes or as it is here with butternut squash and haricot.
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