The glaze for these succulent hens is easy to make and hard to resist. It’s a sweet, spicy and herbaceous mix of maple syrup, Dijon mustard and sage. For Christmas dinner, this dish makes a fine alternative to roast turkey.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
- 1½ lb (750 g) Cornish hens
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 0.33 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
- 0.33 cup (80 ml) Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp (10 ml) dried sage leaves
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place 1 hen on a secure work surface and use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along either side of the backbone and remove it. Place the hen breast side up and press it flat. Cut it in half down the middle of the breastbone. Place the hen halves, skin side up, in a large roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining hens.
- Season with salt and pepper. (The hens can be cut and made oven-ready several hours in advance of serving. Keep refrigerated until ready to roast.) Roast for 30 minutes. Combine the maple syrup, mustard and sage in a bowl. Brush half the mixture over the hens and roast for 10 minutes. Brush with the remaining mixture and roast 10 to 15 minutes more, or until cooked through.