Cornish Hens, Dates, Couscous and Almonds

Start to finish time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes


2 Perdue cornish hens weighing 600g each approximately

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon ginger powder

2 Teaspoons paprika

1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1 Teaspoon

½ Teaspoon black pepper

2 Teaspoons salt

4 Large garlic cloves shredded (approximately 25g)

2 Medium-large red onions cut in half-moons (approximately 450g)


2 Apples grated (or two cups of natural unsweetened apple sauce 11g each)

2 Cups orange juice

1 Cup pitted dates (approximately 140g)

4 – 6 servings of already prepared couscous (refer to How To page on my website for instructions on how to steam couscous, or prepare it according to the instructions on the packaging of the couscous you chose)

1 Cup whole almonds (approximately 110g)

4 Tablespoons natural honey


In a 5 to 8 Quart pot, preferable cast iron, brown the onions on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine the spices with shredded apples (or apple sauce) and garlic. Use the spice mixture to rub the Cornish hens. You can also marinate the hens in this mixture for a few hours prior to cooking them.

Tie the legs of each of the Cornish hens with 1o” of cooking twine.

Place the hens in the pot with the browned onions. Add the orange juice. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.

30 minutes later, set the oven to preheat to 450 degrees, on broil option.

40 minutes later, remove the pot from the heat.

Cover an oven safe dish with a sheet of aluminum paper. Carefully transfer the hens to the oven safe dish, and place it on the middle rack of your oven. Let the hens cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flip them over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until they are perfectly browned.

In a small frying pan, toast the almonds on medium heat for 5 minutes. Grind them to a granulated sugar texture.

Mix the prepared couscous with the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the grinded almonds.

To serve, arrange the couscous on the serving plate in a cone shape, drizzle over it with the onions and orange juice gravy. Place the Cornish hens, on the side. Garnish with dates and drizzle with honey over the cooked hens.

Note: some recipes suggest cooking dates with the chicken. I don’t recommend that for a better presentation and a better texture in your dish.