Up until now, I have only used my Baharat spice in braised chicken dishes, braised beef and braised lamb. Tonight for dinner, I decided to cook my Cornish game hens using this popular allspice/cinnamon blend. Did these ever come out tasty! I ashamedly admit we ate every morsel, skin and all. If you can’t get Aleppo Pepper (I order mine from Penzey’s Spices on-line), you can substitute dried Mexican ancho peppers. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.
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2 1-1¼ pound Cornish game hens
4 T. unsalted butter (use less if you need to cut calories)
1 tsp. my homemade Baharat Spice Blend
½ tsp. Aleppo pepper (or dried ancho pepper)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp. sumac (if available)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Melt the butter in a saucer in the microwave. Stir in the spices to mix well. Split the hens in half up the back bone with a knife or kitchen shears. This technique is referred t as spatchcocking or butterflying the bird. Place the hens, pressed down and spread out on a baking rack that is set down into a baking/broiler pan. Using a brush, baste the hens well with the spice-butter mixture. Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn up oven to 375º and continue to roast for about 10-15 more minutes to brown the skin. Watch them as ovens can vary. When a meat thermometer poked in the center of the breast meat reads 165º they should be properly cooked. Remove from oven and serve 1/2 hen to each person (men may want a whole bird). This should pair nicely with any side dishes you like. I served it with a saute of spinach and Kale and my Iranian Mint Cucumber Salad.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings (½ hen per person), each contains:
501 calories, 39.3 g fat, 0.62 g carbs, 2.50 g fiber, 2.12 g NET CARBS, 34.1 g protein, 347 mg sodium