Cornish hens are merely a hybrid chicken. They are small, with average weight of about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds. Contrary to the name, they are not game birds and in fact are readily available at most grocery store chains (many times in the freezer section). They cook quickly and half a hen is a perfect serving for one, with both white and dark meat. Hard to do that with a regular chicken, unless you have a humongous appetite!
Recipe Shared by Lulu P.
Caramelized Pecan Cornish Hen with Cranberry and Citrus Mojo
1 cup citrus mojo (pre-made), parted
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup cranberry juice
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, mashed
6 sage leaves
1 large navel orange, parted (1/2 in hen)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dry white cooking wine
1 sprig rosemary (for garnish)
Untie wings from hen. Remove heart and gizzards from inside cavity. Remove excess fat around legs. Rinse hen and pat dry. Place hen on large plate. Stuff hen with 2 cloves of garlic, 2 wedges of 1/2 orange, 2 sage leaves and 2 tablespoons of mojo. Flip hen right side up. Pour remaining mojo, making sure to cover bird. Rub garlic, cumin, oregano and salt throughout. Sprinkle cooking wine on top. Place 4 sage leaves on top and sides of hen. Cover and let marinade in fridge for one to two hours.
Heat oil in large dutch oven. Using tongs, place hen onto pan. Brown on each side until golden brown, approximately 5-6 minutes each. Using tongs, remove orange wedges from inside cavity and squeeze onto hen. Pour mojo seasoning and herbs into pot and squeeze remaining orange. Cover and cook on medium heat for 45 minutes. Uncover lid and add dried cranberries. Cover and let simmer for 10 additional minutes. Remove hen from pot and set aside.
Add butter to non-stick pan and bring heat to medium. Stir in pecans. Cook until they begin to toast. Add brown sugar and stir for 2 minutes until it begins to lightly bubble. Lower heat and add cranberry juice. Stir until mix begins to thicken, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.