Cornish Game Hens with Pinot Noir-Cherry Sauce

Featured by Alderbrook Vineyard & Winery in the Gold Wine Club.
Cornish Game Hens with Pinot Noir-Cherry Sauce


A recipe from Alderbrook's Culinary Director, Chef Jim May, these cornish game hens are bursting with flavor and delicious Pinot Noir sauce. Pair this with Alderbrook's 1997 Pinot Noir.

Yield: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 85 Minutes


• 1 1/4 cup chicken stock 1 cup Pinot Noir
• 1/4 cup Marsala
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 4 game hens
• 1/3 cup pitted dried cherries
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon each: nutmeg, allspice and thyme zest of 1 orange, (1 teaspoon minced)
• 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
• 2 tablespoons red currant jelly (or wine jelly)
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch in 1/2 cup cold water


Combine chicken broth, Pinot Noir, Madeira, garlic, cherries, spices orange rind and juice and cook until reduced by half, about 20- 25 minutes. While simmering stir in jelly and cook until dissolved. Pour in cornstarch mixture a little at a time, adding slowly to simmering stock stirring constantly over medium heat until thickened slightly.

Season Game hens with salt and pepper and put in roasting pan. Pour melted butter over each and place in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes or until starting to brown. Reduce oven to 350 and baste with sauce every 5-7 minutes for the next 30 minutes.

Place game hens on heated platter with a ladle of sauce and serve remaining sauce on side. Rice pilaf and braised fennel root would be a nice accompaniment.

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