Fig-and-Balsamic-Glazed Cornish Hens bring a bit of sophistication to the dinner table--perfect for party guests. A fig preserve mixture serves as a baste and then is mixed with red wine for a serving sauce.

Recipe by Southern Living December 2011


Recipe Summary

1 hr 40 mins
20 mins
Makes 8 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reserve half of fig mixture; cover and chill. Let remaining fig mixture stand at room temperature.

  • Rinse hens with cold water, and pat dry. Place hens, breast sides down, on a cutting board. Cut hens through backbone using kitchen shears to make 2 halves.

  • Place hens on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan or in a shallow roasting pan, and sprinkle with salt.

  • Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Brush hens generously with room-temperature fig mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Bake hens 45 minutes or until leg meat is no longer pink, basting with fig mixture every 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

  • Place reserved chilled fig mixture in a small saucepan; stir in red wine, and cook over low heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve hens with sauce.

  • Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step Cover and chill up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before proceeding with Steps 4 and