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Maple-Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Carrots

Maple syrup is an easy, delicious glaze for this quick-cooking bird. Instead of hens, you can substitute a whole chicken; just cook it a bit longer.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 25 mins
  • servings: 4




  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens (about 1 3/4 pounds each)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cook's Note

To give the hens a nice shape and to help them cook evenly, tie the legs with kitchen twine before roasting.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together maple syrup and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Using kitchen twine, tie hen legs together, then tuck wing tips underneath. Place hens on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 teaspoon oil; season with salt and pepper.

  2. Step 2

    Roast 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and add carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme. Toss vegetables with 2 teaspoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Brush hens with maple mixture. Continue to roast, brushing twice more, until juices run clear when hens are pierced between breast and leg or an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer hens to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss vegetables with lemon juice. Carve hens and serve with vegetables.

Everyday Food, September 2009



Reviews (2)

  • Kristina Henderson 26 Dec, 2012

    We used a large Pyrex dish instead of the cooking sheet with the foil that it called for, and added new potatoes in with the carrots and it turned out great! We added a little more olive oil to the veggies mid-cooking and they turned out awesome! We didn't use the lemon juice, but I fathom that is just to taste. Overall, a great recipe.

  • Mistereks 25 Sep, 2010

    I've found this recipe to be tastier if you brush the syrup/cumin mixture on from the very beginning.