- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 Cornish hens, about 1 pound each, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves
Put the flour in a large bowl and season heavily with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the hens in the seasoned flour until coated, shaking off excess. Heat the pan with the bacon fat over medium heat. Add the hens and brown on all sides. Carefully add the wine, letting it bubble and release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the water and garlic cloves and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and braise until hens are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the hens to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Continue simmering the liquid, uncovered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Nestle the hens in the gravy and simmer until heated through. Arrange the hens on a serving platter. Crumble the bacon over the top and serve immediately with the gravy.