Maple-Roasted Cornish Game Hens

On Sunday, while the rain slashed against our windows and the wind blew the smallest branches off the tree in our front yard, we curled up on the couch with steaming mugs of chai tea. While we worked on our respective laptops, we watched all three Major League movies (I recommend skipping the third, I have to say) and the Producers.

When the rain had slowed to a mere drizzle, we propped open the windows to let the cool and refreshing air into the house. And to add a final layer of coziness to the grey and dreary day, I decided that there would be no better dinner than roasted Cornish game hens.

Maple-Roasted Cornish Game Hens

The maple glaze makes the meat tender and the vegetables slightly sweet. Instead of cooking them on a rack, I roasted them on a bed of carrots and potatoes, which made for a delicious side dish. If you don’t want the vegetables, you can also cook the hens on a wire roasting rack.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves 3-4

8 medium carrots
3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes
2 Cornish game hens
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Wash and thinly slice the carrots and potatoes. Layer the vegetables in the bottom of a large roasting pan.

Rinse the hens and pat dry. Brush the hens on both sides, inside and out, with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Place breast-side up on top of the vegetables. Cover the pan and bake for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk the remaining oil with the syrup and spices.

Brush the hens with the maple glaze, and try to get some under the skin. Use tongs to turn and brush the backs. Return the hens to breast-side up.

Drizzle the rest of the glaze over the hens and vegetables. Cover and roast for another 25-35 minutes, or until the skin is browned and a bit crisp.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool for another 5-10 minutes before carving the hens. Serve with the potatoes and carrots as a side.

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