Cornish hen recipe features the spicy perfume of
paprika and cumin, accented by the gentle sweetness of
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper
4 small (less than 1 1/2 pounds) or
2 large Cornish hens, split in half
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups medium-grain couscous,
cooked in chicken stock according
to package directions
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
Mix 3 tablespoons of the oil with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub inside surfaces of hens with 1 tablespoon of
the lemon juice, then smear them, inside and out, with the spice paste. Set
aside 1 hour.
Sauté onions in remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden. Stir
in raisins and remaining cumin and cook until onions are lightly browned. Fold
in cooked couscous and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat grill or heat oven to 375 degrees. If grilling, sear hens on the skin
side over medium heat, then turn them over, basting a couple of times with
remaining lemon juice, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. If using
oven, roast hen halves skin side up in a roasting pan until cooked through,
35 to 40 minutes, basting a couple of times with remaining lemon juice.
Reheat couscous, fold in cilantro, and mound on a platter. Arrange hen
halves around couscous and serve hot or warm.