A sweet, sticky glaze makes these hens irresistible. Use white, red, or gold pearl onions in this dish.
1/2 cup red currant jelly
1/3 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 quarts water
1 pound pearl onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Place hen halves, meaty sides up, in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and brush hens with half of jelly mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and brush hens with remaining half of jelly mixture. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add onions to pan; cook 2 minutes. Remove onions with a slotted spoon. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain. Pinch stem end of each onion; discard peels. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper to pan; cook 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Serve with hens.