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This was actually a fun little dish to make. Two small Cornish game hens, each about 22 ounces, and each about $5. Stuff with a wedge of lemon and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and put in a roasting pan with a dozen or so garlic cloves.

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On higher heat they are all roasted at 425F and then the heat is lowered to 350F for an equal amount of time, with a basting sauce of wine and chicken stock and a little olive oil. Once the birds reach 180F internal temperature, they’re done and simply tent them under foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile take the pan drippings and heat in a skillet for several minutes and reduce by half. At this point you’re left with a delicious, garlicky and lemony sauce that you pour over your poultry.

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Wife was initially unimpressed, thinking it too underseasoned whereas I found mine just perfect. Had I not provided enough sauce for her piece? I realized with Angela’s observation in retrospect that the sauce, catching a lot of the sodium from the bird, pulled the dish together when applied liberally. When I gave her more of the sauce reduction, she said that it was delicious, though not the ringing endorsement I had hoped for. I nearly picked the bones clean on my plate which, frankly, all will agree unusual for me.

She also cannily observed correctly that while the piperade which accompanied the poultry was quite tasty, from a color standpoint the dish was all too much of a beige-ish earth tone, and not interesting visually. True. Next time a more vibrant vegetable color. Nonetheless, the flavors worked, the lemon juice accent made the piperade pop a bit, and what’s left will go nicely in an egg dish in the next day or so.

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