Variations on Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens make an excellent choice for couples wanting to have that traditional feeling for Thanksgiving. Two birds will be more than enough to serve two people. Choose the flavoring option that appeals to you most. If you find two favorites, save one for another special occasion -- Christmas, Valentine's Day or a birthday perhaps. Basic Instructions
    Start with two hens weighing 1 to 1-1/4 pounds each and one of the flavoring options below. Roast the hens at 375 degrees for about 1 hour, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife and a meat thermometer inserted in the hen registers 170 degrees.
Apricot Spice Glaze
    In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon honey. Roast hens as directed. Brush the apricot glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.
Garlic-Herb Rub
    Mix 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage. Loosen the breast skin of each hen and rub one half of the mixture under the skin of each bird. Roast as directed.
Lemon-Basil Flavoring
    Rub the outside of the hens with a cut lemon and brush with melted butter. Place one lemon half and sprig of fresh basil into each cavity. Roast as directed.
Mustard-Herb Rub
    Coat the outside of each hen with about 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with a mixture of dried tarragon, basil and thyme. Roast as directed. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine and serve with the pan juices.
Orange Glaze
    Mix 1/8 cup thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon honey until well blended. Brush the glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.
Oriental Glaze
    Mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon chicken broth, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Brush the mixture over the hens and pour a little into the cavities before roasting as directed above.
  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 1 hour and 10 minutes
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