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Roasted Apricot-Ginger Glazed Game Hens

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Serves four.

Pint-size Cornish hens roast more quickly than chicken, but make a simple dinner feel special. A simple glaze of soy sauce, lemon juice, apricot preserves and fresh ginger give these hens a whiff of spring flavor.

  • 2 Cornish hens, 1-1/2 lb. each
  • 4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. With a sharp knife or poultry shears, remove the backbones from the hens and slice through the breastbone, cutting the hens in half. Brush the skin of the hens with 2 tsp. of the sesame oil and set them, skin side up, on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the skin with 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Roast until the hens are almost cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should register 165°F), about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tsp. sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the preserves, honey, soy sauce, and lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 4 to 5  minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tsp. water, add to the saucepan, and cook until the mixture thickens, another 1 minute.

Brush the hens with the apricot-ginger glaze and continue to roast until the glaze has browned in spots and the thermometer registers 170°F in the thigh, another 5  to 7  minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a basmati rice pilaf with pistachios and a baby spinach salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 560; Fat (g): fat g 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 300; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 35; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 30; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 740; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 205; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Game hens with apricot glaze were a family favorite growing up, so last week I used this and the results were wonderful. My boyfriend raved to his friends, family, coworkers, the mailman, etc! Thank you, Fine Cooking!

Moist and very easy to make!

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