Pan Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Pommes Aligot

Serve with St. Supery Cabernet Franc

I know what you’re thinking – chicken with red wine?  Try it and you may be surprised.  When it comes to successful food & wine pairings, it is the balancing of the seasonings and acidity that are most important.  The cheesy potatoes also help tame the tannins of young red wines. So go ahead and give this preparation a try, pop a cork and get ready for rave reviews!

2   Cornish game hens – split down the backbone into halves

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
4 cloves of garlic – peeled and finely chopped
½ cup fresh rosemary needles – rough chop
2   tablespoons grape seed or canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add game hens, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Pre-heat oven to 450- degrees.  Rub off as much marinade as possible from the hens and season with salt and pepper.  In a large ovenproof sauté pan, heat the grape seed oil until almost smoking then add the game hens – skin side down.  Cook until well browned, flip over and place pan into the oven.  Cook until the juices run clear – about 20 minutes.  Serve atop a mound of Pommes Aligot. 



2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” dice
1 cup (or so) whole milk or half & half (or cream if your cholesterol count allows)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 ½ cups Cantal, Cantalette, or St. George cheese – coarsely grated
Salt & pepper

Put the potatoes and garlic into a pot and cover with cold water.  Add enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean.  Bring the water to a boil and cook until soft; drain well. Mash the potatoes using a food mill or ricer the put the potatoes back into the pot. Slowly add the butter and cream while stirring. Add more milk if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.  Stir in the cheese and adjust the seasonings.