Crisp Cornish Game Hens with Spiced Cranberry-Honey Glaze

Cooking Light
Coat the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring honey, and it will slip out easily. Red pepper adds kick to the glaze.
4 servings (serving size: 1 hen half)


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2 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare hens, remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine thyme, salt, black pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Rub surface of hens with thyme mixture.

To prepare glaze, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove, and cook 1 minute. Add cranberries, juice, honey, cinnamon, and red pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hens, breast side down; cook 3 minutes. Place hens, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush hens with half of glaze. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°, brushing occasionally with remaining glaze.

Wine note: Both game birds and cranberry sauce are terrific partners for pinot noir. Because pinot noir has an earthy, sweet character, it perfectly highlights the meaty sweetness of a roasted bird. At the same time, pinot noir's good acidity is just the ticket as a complement to the cranberries. Try La Crema Pinot Noir 2004 from Russian River Valley, California ($29). -Karen MacNeil

Created date

October 2006

Nutritional Information

Calories 407
Caloriesfromfat 28 %
Fat 12.8 g
Satfat 2.7 g
Monofat 5.9 g
Polyfat 2.5 g
Protein 49.9 g
Carbohydrate 21.6 g
Fiber 0.8 g
Cholesterol 225 mg
Iron 1.9 mg
Sodium 372 mg
Calcium 41 mg