Mediterranean Cornish Hens

Total Time:
40 min
10 min
30 min

4 servings

  • 2 Cornish game hens (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lemons (1 thinly sliced, 1 zested and juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the hens in half with kitchen shears, cutting along one side of the breastbone. Place the hens on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down; season with salt and pepper. Scatter the lemon slices over and around the hens. Roast until the hens are golden, about 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 3 minutes. Add the broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, cover and cook until tender, about 3 more minutes; set aside.

  • Combine the honey, cumin, paprika and lemon juice. Brush on the hens and continue roasting until cooked through, 5 to 7 more minutes.

  • Stir the cilantro and lemon zest into the couscous and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the hens and drizzle with any pan juices.

  • Photograph by Charles Masters

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