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Christmas Cornish Hens with White Wine (Gluten-Free)
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
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Celiac.com 12/25/2015 - Cornish hens make a great alternative to turkey, especially for a small group, or a couple. This version uses Cornish hens and white wine to deliver a tasty variation on the great French classic Coq au Vin. It will make a great anchor for any holiday dinner.
- 2 Cornish hens, 1 to 1½ pounds each, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour or potato starch
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup water
- 2 garlic cloves
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the bacon.
Cook until browned and crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel.
Season birds heavily with salt and pepper, then dredge in the seasoned flour until coated.
Heat the pan with the bacon fat over medium heat.
Add the hens and brown on all sides.
Carefully add the wine, letting it bubble and release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. No white wine? Use red wine.
Stir in the water and garlic cloves and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and braise until hens are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the hens to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Continue simmering the liquid, uncovered, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Season gravy with salt and pepper, to taste.
Nestle the hens in the gravy and simmer until heated through.
Arrange the hens on a serving platter.
Crumble bacon over hens, and serve with gravy, surrounded by your favorite sides.
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