The hens need only a small drizzle of the intensely flavorful sauce.
3 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens
3 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
How to Make It
Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from hens by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine mustard, rosemary, salt, pepper, and 3 garlic cloves to form a paste; rub mustard mixture under loosened skin. Place hen halves, meaty sides up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Bake hens at 425° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Place hens on a platter; keep warm.
Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a nonstick skillet, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
Add wine to drippings in pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Stir in broth, juice, honey, and 2 garlic cloves; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
Remove skin from hens; discard. Drizzle each hen with 2 teaspoons wine mixture. Serve immediately.
So tasty! I used dijon mustard instead of stone-ground for sharper flavor and to bring back memories of eating at the table in France. The time it took to reduce the sauce was a lot longer than the recipe suggests. Perfect for leftovers the next day, or torn up and tossed in a salad! Please visit figswithbenefits.com for pictures I took while making this recipe!
Excellent recipe! I substituted half of the amount of the mustard with regular mustard. I baked the whole cornish hens, and put inside the cavities fresh sprigs of rosemary and a small onion in each one. It came out very tasteful and juicy!
I really enjoyed this - took my chickens a few minutes more to cook than the recipe said but the final presentation was lovely. I liked the red wine reduction, thought it complemented the rosemary/mustard nicely. I'm thinking of trying it again with bone-in chicken breasts.
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