Vension suggestions

I am hosting my cooking club this month and since I live in "America's Hometown" and it's almost Thanksgiving I decided to go with a Pilgrim and Indian theme. My limited research showed that venison and wild fowl were most definitely served for the first Thanksgiving. I am going to try my hand at Cornish Hens for the first time for the fowl. I have a friend with a hunter husband who was nice enough to give me some venison steaks as well. Having never eaten venison except for a very small steak I way overcooked on the grill, I am a little nervous about it. I have a recipe for a Crock Pot Venison in a red wine sauce. I think I will try this but braise it instead. I feel like a long slow cook will be my best option for a crowd who I know do not eat venison regularly, and have probably never eaten it.
Now to my question...any further suggestions for venison? Or cornish hens for that matter (planning on a cranberry thyme sauce I found on epicurious)? Will be my first time cooking both (except for the unfortunate venison grilling experience). Thanks!

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