Photo by: Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard

Oven-Braised Cornish Hens with Cider Vinegar and Warm Vegetable Sauce

Warm crusty bread is all you need to round out this meal. Use it to soak up the last drops of the tart broth.

  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 hen half and 1 cup vegetable mixture)


  • 2 none (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (1-inch) slices leek (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 2 none garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 none plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 none Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 350º.

Rinse hens with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish; dredge hens in flour mixture. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and hens, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.

Add leek, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and vinegar, stirring to loosen browned bits. Return hens to pan; add tomatoes, apple, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hens are done. Place hens on a serving platter, and keep warm. Remove vegetable mixture from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a serving bowl. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid in pan; discard remaining liquid. Bring reserved cooking liquid to a boil; cook 8 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Pour over vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with hens.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 487none
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 14.4g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Protein: 56.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 31.5g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Cholesterol: 237mg
  • Iron: 4.7mg
  • Sodium: 842mg
  • Calcium: 78mg

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Oven-Braised Cornish Hens with Cider Vinegar and Warm Vegetable Sauce Recipe