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Elegant Cornish Hens

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 40 min.


4 servings

This lovely entree not only looks special, it tastes special, too. Your holiday guests are sure to be impressed.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each), split lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon each cornstarch and water
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon


  1. Rub oil over hens; sprinkle with salt, thyme and pepper. Place skin side up on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until thermometer reads 180°. Broil hens for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, toss mushrooms with 2 teaspoons oil, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer on a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Set aside.
  3. For sauce, in a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in remaining oil. Add the broth, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, bay leaf and remaining pepper; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tarragon and mushrooms; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Serve sauce over hens.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 328 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 189mg cholesterol, 873mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 45g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 6 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

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