Maple-Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Carrots

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

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.


  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 2 Cornish game hens (about 1 ¾ pounds each)

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 ½ 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


  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. 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. 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.

Cook's Notes

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

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