There are times when going out for a fancy meal just isn’t in the cards. The sitter cancelled, the kids are sick, the budget won’t allow it, your spouse is on-call, the forecast is for 3 feet of snow…
This Moroccan inspired Cornish hen recipe is perfect to pull out when heading out the door just isn’t in the cards. It’s elegant, easy, & delicious. Light a candle, dim the lights, play some music, and enjoy the best date night you never went out for.
The cinnamon and cumin intertwine in this dish, collaborating together on an aromatic trip to North Africa.
Moroccan Couscous Stuffed Cornish Hens with Moroccan Carrot Salad
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup couscous
1/2 tablespoons margarine
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Cornish hens
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 tablespoons water
Moroccan Carrot Salad (recipe below)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a cookie sheet, toast the nuts in the oven until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Raise oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan bring the broth, sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer over Medium-High heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Fluff couscous with a fork. Add the almonds, 1/2 tablespoon of the margarine, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the honey, the cinnamon, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Fill the cavities of the hens with the couscous mixture. Twist the wings behind the backs of the hens and tie the legs together with string.
- Put the hens, breast side up, in a small roasting pan. Coat the hens with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the hens for 25 minutes. Baste them with the pan juices and drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon honey. Continue roasting until done, about 15 minutes longer.
- When the hens are done, transfer them to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- In a frying pan take the juices and scraping from the roasting pan and add the water. Cook over medium heat, and allow to reduce, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the hens in half and serve with the couscous stuffing , au jus and Moroccan Carrot Salad.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Adapted from Food Network
6 to 8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mint leaves, washed and chopped
- Bring water to a boil over High heat. Add carrots, cover and simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix cayenne, cumin, honey and lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil. Drain excess water (if any) and toss warm carrots with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with mint. Serve warm or at room temperature.