• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

North African Cornish Hens

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Poultry

 Ingredients List

  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 2 Lemons -- halved
  • 1 Orange -- quartered
  • 5 Cloves garlic -- crushed
  • 1 1/2 ts Kosher salt
  • 2 tb Paprika, preferably hot
  • Hungarian
  • 2 ts Cumin seed
  • 1 ts Ground ginger
  • 1/4 ts Cayenne pepper -- optional
  • 1/4 c Olive oil


This recipe is from the wonderful book, KWANZAA: An African-American
Celebration of Culture and Cooking by Eric V. Copage.

Cooks' Notes: These Cornish hens are rubbed with a streamlined version of
the Moroccan spice mixture ras al hanout, marinated, and roasted with
lemons and oranges. (Don't serve the fruit with the chicken - they are
there only for flavoring's sake.)

Using a sharp knife or a cleaver, split each hen down its back and open it
up flat, like a book. Arrange the hens, skin side up, on two large
roasting pans. Squeeze the lemons and oranges over the hens, and then
place the squeeed lemon and orange pieces underneath the hens.

On a work surface, sprinkle the garlic with the salt. Using a large knife,
chop and smear them together to form a paste. Scrape the garlic paste into
a small bowl, and stir in the paprika, cumin, ginger, and optional cayenne.
Gradually stir in the oil to make a paste. Spread the paste on the hen's
skin, and let them stand at room temperature, covered, for 1 hour before

Position a rack in the top third of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees.

Roast the hens, basting often with the drippings, until the juices run
yellow when the flesh is pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve
immediately, discarding the cooked fruits.

Uploaded by Nan Blanchard; 73540,700

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