Moroccan Cornish Hens

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Moroccan Cornish HensRecipe
Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cathy Muir
Make the paste and marinade the day before; marinate the hens the day of the party.
8 servings


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4 large oranges, sliced
2 cups whole pitted dates (about 8 ounces)
4 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
2 cups cilantro sprigs
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
12 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry Marsala
1/4 cup honey


Arrange orange slices in 2 (13 x 9-inch) baking dishes, and sprinkle evenly with dates.

Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin, and trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Place hen halves, meaty side up, on top of dates.

Prepare paste: Place cilantro in a food processor; pulse 4 times or until coarsely chopped. Add cardamom, cumin, coriander, and garlic, and process until finely chopped. Pat cilantro mixture onto hens; arrange olives around hens.

Prepare marinade: Combine vinegar, wine, and honey; stir well with a whisk until well-blended. Place in refrigerator for up to two days, if desired.

Slowly pour marinade over hens. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 2 to 24 hours, basting once with the vinegar mixture.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Uncover hens, and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until juices run clear, basting occassionally with the vinegar mixture. Shield wings with foil, if needed.

Created date

April 1998

Nutritional Information

Calories 412
Caloriesfromfat 23 %
Fat 10.5 g
Satfat 2.7 g
Monofat 4.3 g
Polyfat 2.1 g
Protein 35.5 g
Carbohydrate 46.9 g
Fiber 8.3 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Iron 3.5 mg
Sodium 1198 mg
Calcium 111 mg