Yield: 16 servings
16 halves Cornish game hens (8 whole)
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsps. salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
32 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, divided
1⁄4 cup honey
12 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup water
2⁄3 cup shallots, minced
4 cups blueberries
2 Tbsps. red wine vinegar
as needed escarole, wilted for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Rub hen halves with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Place hens on racks in roasting pans; roast until thigh juices run clear, about 35 minutes.
2. Blanch garlic cloves quickly in boiling water; remove. In a skillet, combine 2 Tbsps. of the butter, and all of the honey, thyme, garlic cloves and water. Simmer until liquid is reduced to a syrup and garlic turns golden brown, stirring often, about 20 minutes; remove thyme sprigs.
3. In a skillet over medium heat, melt remaining 2 Tbsps. butter. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add blueberries and cook until they soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in red wine vinegar; simmer until mixture has a saucy consistency, about 2 minutes.
4. To serve: Arrange each hen half on wilted escarole, if desired. Spoon sautéed blueberries and garlic clove mixtures around each hen serving.
Recipe and photo from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.