Moroccan-Style Cornish Game Hens

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from Bon Appétit

Serves 4

1 large orange, thinly sliced
2 Cornish game hens, cut lengthwise in half
6 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup tawny Port
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
20 whole pitted dates
10 large pitted green olives

Arrange orange slices in bottom of 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Top with game hens. Mix 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped garlic and 1 ¼ tsp. cumin in bowl. Rub mixture all over hens. Whisk tawny Port, oil, vinegar and honey in small bowl. Pour over hens. Tuck dates and olives between hens. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight, turning hens once.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Turn hens skin side up. Bake hens with marinade, dates and olives until hens are cooked through, basting occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer hens, dates and olives to platter; discard orange slices. Pour pan juices into heavy small saucepan. Add remaining ¼ tsp. cumin and boil until reduced to ½ cup, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon some sauce over hens. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

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