3 X 750 gr Cornish hens, jointed
freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (1 crushed, 2 sliced)
22 gr or 1 package of Cremini mushrooms, halved
1 pack of red pearl onions, peeled whole
1/2 bottle of red wine
extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
1 handful of large green, stoned
2 x 400 gr good quality canned plum tomatoes
1. Season the hen pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and crushed clove of garlic and cover with red wine. Leave to marinate for at least one hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain the Cornish hens, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of olive oil, and fry the Cornish hen pieces until browned lightly all over. Put to the side.
3. Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic, pearl onions and Cremini mushrooms. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon) and the hen pieces with their reserved marinade. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid or a double thick layer of foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Skim off any oil that's collected on top of the sauce, then stir, taste and add a littel salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, and serve with pasta, polenta, or beans and lots of good red wine.