About a year ago I found a stoneware tagine on the clearance rack for $5. I had always been intrigued by these funny looking dishes so I gave into temptation and bought it. Then it sat on a shelf for almost a year before I finally decided to learn how to use the blasted thing so I started searching around for some tips and recipes. Some recipes didn’t sound appetizing to me and some called for ingredients that I would have trouble getting such as preserved lemons. I finally found one that I could modify into something I would like. Here is the finished product.
What you will need:
2 Cornish game hens
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 onions, peeled and slivered
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup chicken broth
I cook this in a stoneware tagine but you can use a deep, covered Dutch oven and get the same result. I’ll write the directions as if you are using a tagine and make some notes at the end for those that will use a Dutch oven.
In the bottom of a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the Cornish game hens on both sides and remove from skillet. (If you want to skip this step you can but I think the finished product tastes better if you do this.)
Melt the butter to the skillet, still over medium heat, and sauté the onions until onions are beginning to go limp. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until onions are just beginning to brown. Transfer the onions to the bottom of your tagine.
Place the hens over the onions and then sprinkle the seasonings over the hens followed by the raisins and pine nuts.
Finally pour the broth over the hens and cover with the top of the tagine.
Place in cold oven and set temp to 450 degrees. Cook for 1 hour after the oven reaches 450.
If you are using a Dutch oven you can just brown the birds and sauté the onions and garlic in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Instead of transferring the onions to another dish just place the birds over the onions in the Dutch oven and continue from there.
I usually serve this with Couscous made with pine nuts and golden raisins. It’s freakishly easy and so good.
Melt about 2 tbsp butter over medium heat in the bottom of a pan and add ¼-1/2 cup each pine nuts and golden raisins. Sauté until the raisins begin to plump up. Add 1 cup of water and increase heat to high. As soon as the water boils pour in 1 cup Couscous, remove from heat and stir. It’s just that easy.