Cider-glazed Cornish hens

Total Time
1 hr 43 min
18 min
1 hr 25 min
Rice stuffing studded with dried cranberries, carrots and onions adds a twist on this show-stopping entrée that serves a dinner party of two. Basted with an apple cider-maple glaze made with vanilla, aromatic herbs and warm spices, the Cornish hens have an amazing flavor. Not much else is needed to complete the meal. Serve with roasted asparagus or haricot verts for a pretty and pleasing side. Seckel pears are small and russet colored with a sweet-spicy flavor and are excellent for cooking. They are only available in the fall, but you can substitute any other firm, ripe pear, such as Bosc.


Olive oil

1½ tsp


1 small, finely chopped


2 Tbsp, finely chopped


1 clove(s), minced


1 medium, seckel, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Dried cranberries

2 Tbsp

Cooked white rice

1 cup(s), basmati

Reduced sodium chicken broth

¼ cup(s)

Herbes de Provence

¼ tsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Apple cider

1 cup(s)

Maple syrup

¼ cup(s)

Vanilla extract

¼ tsp

Ground cinnamon


Uncooked skinless Cornish hen

1 pound(s)


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, 3–4 minutes. Add pear and cranberries; cook 1 minute. Stir in rice, broth, herbes de Provence, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; cook until liquid evaporates, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine apple cider and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture is reduced and syrupy, 12–15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Stand a wire rack in the pan; lightly spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  4. Loosely stuff hen with rice mixture and secure legs with kitchen twine. Rub hen with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stand hen on rack in pan. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Remove hen from oven; brush with some of cider mixture and continue to roast, brushing every 10 minutes with more cider mixture, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of hen registers 180°F, about 45 minutes longer. Yields 1/2 hen and 3/4 cup stuffing per serving.