Honey-Glazed Cornish Hens with Ginger-Apple Salsa

Welcome to this month's post for the Kosher Linkup Challenge.  This month's challenge is honey.   Since the High Holy Days are coming fast, I thought to share a main course recipe with you, Dear Reader.

Apples dipped in honey is a traditional Rosh HaShana treat so I used the duo in creating this awesome Cornish hen dish.  By the way, did you know that, according to The US Department of Agriculture,  Cornish hens are not necessarily Cornish hens?  They can be a cross with another chicken breed and still be called Cornish.  In any case they usually weight around 2 pounds. But according to that other qualitative source, Empire, kosher Cornish hens are labeled Cornish broilers and can weigh as much as 3 1/2 pounds!    So if you use a couple of kosher birds, this recipe makes up to 8 servings, a quarter per.  If you find real Cornish hens, then allow an entire half per person so your guests shouldn't starve.

Back to the apples and honey.  Ginger-apple salsa is sweet with a gentle crunchy kick from the ginger-red onion-cilantro mixture.   I found myself tasting and re-tasting.  Not to add anything, but because it is so delicious.  The salsa recipe makes enough for 8 servings.  If you have tiny birds, halve the recipe or expect to serve it the next day (add more cinnamon and pass the pita chips).

Honey-Glazed Cornish Hens with Ginger-Apple Salsa
Serves 4-8

Honey-Glazed Cornish Hens
2 cornish hens, halved (defrosted completely if frozen)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbl. olive oil

Ginger-Apple Salsa
2 tart red or green apples, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
juice from 1 lime (approx. 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 packed cup chopped cilantro

For hens:
Preheat oven to 400F.    Lightly oil the rack of a large roasting pan and place in the pan.  Place hen halves, cut sides down on the prepared rack.  Blot hens dry, then place pan in oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Pasty white thighs.

Meanwhile, stir together the honey, apricot preserves, apple cider, ginger, pepper and olive oil.  After 15 minutes, remove pan from oven and set on a heat-safe surface.  Quickly baste hens with the honey mixture.  Return pan to oven and continue to roast for 30 more minutes.

Starting to really look good there.

Remove pan from oven and repeat basting.

YEAH, baby!

Return pan to oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear when hen is pierced with the tip of a knife.

For Salsa:

Combine all ingredients.  If not serving right away, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

Oops ... almost forgot the most important ingredient.

To serve, plate hens.  If using kosher hens (which tend to run large), allow a quarter of a hen per serving, otherwise give each person an entire half.

Ladle salsa over each serving or on the side.


My mom makes the best cornish hens with spinach stuffing. It's one of my favorite yom tov dishes! The apple salsa is a great idea too. I really enjoy fruit salsas and the crunchy apples offer a refreshing change from the typical soft fruit that is often used.
Laura said…
Mmmm . . . honey and apricot jam sounds fantastic as a glaze. My sister makes a glaze with honey and orange marmalade, but I like the idea of apricot.
RonnieVFein said…
I also combine apples and honey in all sorts of ways. This sounds wonderful and I like the idea of roasting small hens. More festive way of serving chicken!
Shulie said…
OMGoodness love cornish game hens. They are delicious. Yours looks perfect. Nice pairing with the apple ginger salsa.
Alessandra said…
they are always so much tastier than large chickens!
wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again,
Regards, cornish hen recipe

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