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Thanksgiving Special Roasted Cornish Hens

Traditional Thanksgiving classics reinvented by Melody! Thanksgiving is around the corner! Turkey is the staple centerpiece dish for our Thanksgiving feasts, but are you or any others in your family non-turkey lovers? I know the holiday doesn’t feel the same without a turkey to gather around, but why not another option for those that are not too fond of turkey? Or, maybe you change it up this year and gather around these hens instead? Perhaps you’re entertaining a smaller group or it’s just you and your significant other. The great thing about Cornish hens is you can serve one per person and they cook in about one short hour.
Ingredients
  Cornish hens 4
  Garlic 2 Tablespoon, mince
  Cinnamon powder 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Cumin powder 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Coriander 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Melted unsalted butter 8 Tablespoon
  Low sodium chicken broth 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Ground sea salt 1 Teaspoon
  Black pepper 1 Teaspoon
For the apricot glaze:
  Unsalted butter 3 Tablespoon
  Shallots 2 Large, mince
  Dry white wine 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Low sodium chicken broth 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Apricot preserves 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Ground sea salt To Taste
  Black pepper and cumin powder mixture To Taste
For the orzo salad
  Orzo pasta 1⁄2 Pound, cooked, drained
  Butternut squash 1 Cup (16 tbs), dice
  Italian parsley 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Red onion 1 Cup (16 tbs), finely chopped
  Toasted walnuts 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Dried cranberries 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Crumbled feta cheese 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Olive oil 2 Tablespoon
  Lemon juice 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Black pepper 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  White pepper 1⁄2 Teaspoon
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Season the Cornish hens with salt and pepper, tie the legs with a butcher twine, set aside in a roasting pan.
3. In bowl combine garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and melted butter, stir and combine.
4. Rub the Cornish hen with the wet rub inside and out.

MAKING
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degree and pour one cup of chicken broth in the roasting pan.
6. Roast the Cornish hen for 60 minutes turning every 30 minutes.
7. In the meantime in a sauce pan, melt butter and sauté the shallots until soft, stir in the wine and chicken broth.
8. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and reduce the liquid to half.
9. After 10 minutes stir in the apricot preserve and simmer until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
10. Season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside
11. In a mixing bowl combine the cooked orzo pasta with butternut squash, Italian parsley, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries and feta cheese.
12. Give it a good toss and then season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black and white pepper.
13. Remove the Cornish hen and brush the apricot glaze, reserve some for later, place it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
14. Remove from oven and brush with any leftover glaze.

SERVING
15. Serve with the orzo salad on the side.

TIPS
Hens may be brined, drained, rinsed, patted dry and refrigerated up to one day ahead. Skins will also be crisper if refrigerated after brine.

Things You Will Need
roasting pan
oven
sauce pan
mixing bowl

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Main Dish
Taste: 
Savory
Method: 
Roasted
Occasion: 
Thanksgiving
Ingredient: 
Cornish Game Hen
Restriction: 
High Fiber, High Protein
Preparation Time: 
45 Minutes
Cook Time: 
90 Minutes
Ready In: 
135 Minutes
Servings: 
4

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