Smoked Game Hen with Juniper Gin Sauce
6 Cornish game hens
1 Tablespoon dried marjoram
1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 Tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup dry gin
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons juniper berries, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
Arrowroot, a/n Fresh rosemary garnish
Mix together marjoram, rosemary, pepper, thyme, mint, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the game hens evenly with the dry rub mixture. Smoke at 225F for 1 hour using apple wood. Combine chicken stock, wine, gin, vinegar, bay leaf, juniper berries, and pepper in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Reduce until 1 1/2 cups liquid remains.
Remove bay leaf and turn heat up to medium-high. Add a little arrowroot and stir to thicken sauce. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of sauce onto each plate. Remove game hens from smoker and cut in half down center.
Arrange on plate breast to breast. Garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary. Serve.
Yield 6 servings