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Cornish Hens with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

4 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/4 pounds
2 1/2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa, separate recipe
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 large white onions, sliced 3/8" thick
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
salt, preferably coarse

Rinse the hens and pat dry. Set them in a bowl and coat with the
Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa. Cover and let stand at room
temperature for 1 hour. In a large pot of boiling salted water,
cook the green beans and onion slices until both are crisp-tender,
about 4 minutes. Drain and spread out on a tray to cool.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Scrape the marinade from the hens
back into the bowl and stir in the cream. Set the hens, breast
side up, in a large oiled roasting pan with the legs facing out.
Brush hens with the oil, season with salt and roast in the middle
of the oven for 15 minutes.

Arrange the beans and onions around the hens, pour the marinade
over and roast for about 20 minutes longer, or until the thigh
juices run clear when pierced.

Transfer the hens and vegetables to a serving platter and cover
loosely with foil. Spoon off any fat from the pan sauce. Set the
roasting pan over 2 burners on moderate heat and boil, scraping up
any browned bits, for 1 minute. Season with salt. Spoon half of
the sauce around the hens and serve with the remaining sauce.

Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa

4 to 6 dried chipotle chiles, stems removed or 4-5 chipotles in adobe
6 large unpeeled garlic cloves
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
sugar, optional

If using dried chiles, heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over
moderate heat. Add half the chiles and toast, pressing down on
them with a metal spatula, until they start to crackle. Turn and
toast the other side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the
remaining chiles. Cover the chiles with hot water and let soften
for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the chiles. If using
canned chiles, simply wipe off the adobo.

Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over moderate heat. Toast the
garlic, turning occasionally, until softened and blackened in spots,
about 15 minutes. Let cool, then peel and roughly chop.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread the tomatillos on a rimmed
baking sheet and broil for about 8 minutes, turning once, or until
blackened in spots and softened. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Scrape the tomatillos and any accumulated juices into a food
processor or blender and add the chiles and roasted garlic. Puree
until thickened and smooth. For a chunkier salsa, pulse the
tomatillos and roasted garlic until coarsely pureed; finely chop
the chiles and add them to the tomatillo mixture. Transfer the
salsa to a bowl and stir in 6 to 8 tablespoons of water, so the
salsa has a spoonable consistency. Season with salt, plus a little
sugar, if you want to soften the tangy edge.


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