I love Cornish hens as part of a celebration or holiday meal, don’t you? If you do, give this recipe a gander. Apricot Stuffed Cornish Hens has that yin and yang of sweet and savory. The textures are great too, the soft and juicy flesh of the bird is encased in a wonderfully crispy skin. However, the stuffing is the piece de resistance, it’s sweet and savory blend of ingredients is a nice addition to an already tasty dish.

I love Cornish hens, they’re so darn tasty, they also look pretty spectacular when you place them on a platter on your dining table.

Apricot Stuffed Cornish Hens by Diverse Dinners

Cornish hens typically feed one or two people, dependent upon size. I try to find hens that are at least 1lb so they serve two, therefore this recipe is for six people. However, you might need to buy one extra hen if you have one or two big eaters to serve. Or you can insist that your guests stick to one half per person to reign in those overeaters, the choice is yours.

Apricot Stuffed Cornish Hens by Diverse Dinners

If you’re planning a holiday meal with more than one protein dish you should cut the hens into four and scoop out the stuffing so that everyone gets a chance to have a bite.

Apricot Stuffed Cornish Hens are roasted, covered with foil on a wire rack with chicken stock beneath it. While cooking the juices of the bird and stuffing release. The result is a very tasty base for a gravy. Once the hens are cooked, all you need to do is deglaze the pan with a touch of vinegar and reduce till it thickens.



344 cal


14 g


4 g


46 g
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Serves 6

Apricot Stuffed Cornish Hens

45 minPrep Time

2 hrCook Time

2 hr, 45 Total Time

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    Cornish Hens
  • 3 x 1lb Cornish hens
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (removed from stalk)
  • Apricot Stuffing
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup celery (diced)
  • 3/4 cup red onions (diced)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp fresh sage (minced)
  • 2 cups day old white bread (minced)
  • 2 tbsp chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Equipment & Utensils
  • Skillet with cover
  • Roasting pan with wire rack
  • Chefs twine
  • Aluminum foil


    Cornish Hens
  1. Rinse hens inside and out in cool water and remove excess fat and feathers, if any.
  2. Pat hens dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix together garlic, salt and pepper and then season hens with mixture inside and out.
  4. Place hens on wire rack in roasting pan and set aside.
  5. Apricot Stuffing
  6. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in skillet on medium heat then add celery and onions.
  7. Saute celery and onions until scent releases.
  8. Add apricots, garlic and sage and continue to saute.
  9. Add bread, broth and balance of butter and mix thoroughly.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Cover and lower heat and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes until flavors combine then remove from heat to allow to cool.
  12. Once stuffing is cool enough to handle, spoon stuffing to fill the cavity of each hen.
  13. Cornish Hens
  14. Tie the hens' legs together with twine so that the legs cover the open cavity of each hen.
  15. Pour chicken broth in bottom of roasting pan and then cover pan with foil.
  16. Place in a preheated oven at 350 and cook for approx. 75 mins.
  17. Remove hens from oven and remove foil, then raise heat to 420.
  18. Baste hens with broth thoroughly then return to oven.
  19. Cook until golden then remove from oven and set hens aside to rest.
  20. Place roasting pan on high heat and add vinegar and thyme, stir to deglaze.
  21. Remove from heat once gravy has reduced by one third.
  22. Serve immediately.