Moroccan Spice House Cornish Hens

Moroccan Spiced Cornish Hens

Moroccan Spice House Hen with celery root slaw

The 2 spice blends in this recipe are combined to imitate a popular Moroccan spice blend called Ras el Hanout which translates from the Arabic as top of the shop. That means top shelf.

This is another favorite Passover recipe but it works well with chicken and ham, too.  You can prep these the same way, but these small birds will only need about an hour’s worth of brining if you choose to do that.

Moroccan Spiced Cornish Hens

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 4 Cornish hens, butterflied (see chicken)
  • ½ C apricot preserves
Butterflied Cornish Hens

Cornish Hens Butterflied and awaiting seasonings

Combine the spices. Toast until they start to smell fragrant. Add the salt.  Sprinkle the hens on both sides with all but 1 tsp of the mixture.  Grill the hens on low or have the coals on one side and the hens on the other (indirect heat) and cook about 40 minutes turning a few times. check the temp with a thermometer (should be about 155°) since grilling times can vary wildly. It will also depend on the size of your birds.   Combine the preserves with the remaining spice mixture and spread on both sides of the Cornish hens. Cook a few minutes on each side until the glaze is browned and delicious looking and the temperature registers about 165°F. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  You can also bake these in the oven at 325°F and then raise the temperature to 400°F for the glazing.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

*Instead of the usual brisket for Passover try these tasty Cornish Hens. I have found various sources on whether or not cumin is okay for Passover and there are cumin free garam masala varieties. Check the label or try this substitution if you don’t want to use  the cumin.

  • 1½  tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed, crushed
  • ½  tsp salt

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