maple-glazed cornish game hens

Still recovering from a string of cooking mishaps.

It started with the apple tart oven fire incident (honest-this is the last time I’ll bring that up) and it seemingly hasn’t let up.  A couple of examples:

Taking a trip to the local Honeybaked Ham store to buy a fully cooked smoked turkey breast, only to take it out on Halloween day to make smoky white chili and realizing it had a brown sugary coating on it just like their trademark ham.  Really, when I tried it it tasted more like ham than turkey.  Before you say “why would you NOT think it would taste like that coming from that particular store?”  let me tell you that a business acquaintance of my husband’s sent us a smoked turkey from the Honeybaked Ham Company last year for Christmas and, while I initially was skeptical, it turned out to be a darn fine juicy bird (without the trademark sugar coating) and resulted in some fabulous pot pies stored away for wintry nights.  Last minute poached chicken was a stand in for the chili.

Then there was the day I slightly overbaked granola, setting the usual fear of the smoke alarm going off into motion.

It really wasn’t burnt.  Okay, maybe bits of it were.  My husband still loved it.  He loves all things crunchy, slightly burnt or not.

This called for a simple, no fail dinner.  Some simple comfort food I couldn’t mess up.  Cornish game hens look pretty impressive simply roasted.  My son was delighted to have his own tiny succulent bird on his plate.

I prepared these on a rare day in October when the temperatures were freezing and all manner of precipitation was falling from the sky.  It’s very unusual for it to snow here before January and it was a welcome day for staying in pajamas, building a fire in the fireplace, and watching movies.

This would be good with any sort of root vegetable such as potatoes or parsnips.  I happened to have carrots and turnips from the farm box.

maple roasted cornish game hens

2-3 Cornish game hens

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cumin

3 teaspoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme

1-1/2 pounds root vegetables:  Onion, carrot, turnips, parsnips, potatoes-cut into bite size chunks

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Using kitchen twine, tie hen legs together and tuck wings underneath.  Place hens on a shallow rimed baking sheet.  Rub with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Mix maple syrup with cumin in a small bowl until well blended.  Season syrup mixture with salt and pepper.

Brush hens with maple syrup mixture.  Toss vegetables with 2 tsp olive oil, garlic, and thyme.   Scatter on baking sheet around hens.

Roast in oven until golden brown and thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh measures 165 degrees, approximately 105-115 minutes.  Remove from oven twice during roasting and baste with remaining maple syrup mixture.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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2 responses to “maple-glazed cornish game hens

  1. I like the idea of staying in pajamas on a snowy day in front of the fire and eating those delicious little birds for dinner.

  2. They WERE delicious, and we had one leftover for the next day (which was sunny and much warmer!)

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