2000s Recipes + Menus

Spice-Rubbed Cornish Hens with Haroseth Stuffing and Sherry Jus

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr
April 2009
Typically a ceremonial dish, haroseth becomes an inspired stuffing—dark and sweet—for Cornish hens seasoned seductively with allspice, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.The tender meat and haroseth taste wonderful splashed with the rich jus (the Sherry is a nod to Spain), but we love the extra dimension added by the bright salsa verde, too. View more of our favorite recipes from this issue, and learn the story behind this dish in our series The Recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-lb) Cornish hens
  • 1 1/3 cups apricot, date, and pistachio haroseth
  • 1 cup medium-dry Sherry
  • 1 cup water
  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
  • Whisk together spices, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and oil in a small bowl.
  • Pat hens dry and stuff cavity of each with 1/3 cup haroseth. Place hens in a large flameproof roasting pan and rub all over with spice mixture, including underneath skin of breast meat (loosen skin gently with your fingers). Tuck wings underneath body, then secure legs together with a wooden pick or tie with kitchen string.
  • Roast hens 20 minutes, then brush with pan drippings. Continue to roast, basting every 10 minutes, until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, 25 to 30 minutes more (45 to 50 minutes total). Transfer hens to a cutting board.
  • Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners and boil drippings, scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Carefully add Sherry (it may ignite) and boil 2 minutes (or until flames subside). Add water and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a measuring cup and let stand 1 minute, then skim off fat (or use a fat separator).
  • Serve hens, halved if desired, with sauce on the side.
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