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Cornish Game Hens with Apricot Sauce

A Virginia reader shares secrets for moist hens with apricot sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Cornish Game Hens with Apricot Sauce

Source: Everyday Food, May 2007


  • 3 Cornish game hens (about 1 1/2 pounds each), patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous


  1. Preheat oven to 450. Using kitchen twine, tie hens legs together; tuck wing tips underneath. Rub hens with a total of 1 tablespoon oil and 3/4 teaspoon thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Place hens, breast side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil; let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. While hens are roasting, make sauce: In a large skillet with a lid, heat remaining oil over medium; add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine, and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, cream, honey, lemon juice, and apricots; raise heat to high, and boil until mixture (including solids) is reduced to 2 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Return sauce to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package instructions. Add remaining thyme, and season with salt and pepper; fluff with a fork. Halve hens; serve with couscous and sauce.

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