2 1-1/2-pound Cornish game hens 1 tablespoon olive oil Port Sauce (see recipe below)
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°F oven for 55 to 60 minutes; roast whole hens for 1 to 1-1/4 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°F.
Makes 4 servings.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup orange juice; 1/3 cup water; 1/4 cup port wine; 1/4 cup blackberry spreadable fruit; 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar; 2 tablespoons minced shallot or chopped onion; 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed; 1/4 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired); and 1 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 2 tablespoons cold water into 1 tablespoon 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.