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Moroccan Couscous Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens
Moroccan Couscous Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Derek Laughren

If we were stranded on a desert island, this is the recipe we would hope to eat forever. It combines the flavors of dried apricots, honey and cinnamon for a slightly sweet yet savory dish (plus, slivered almonds for a bit of crunch).

4 servings

1 cup chicken broth

⅓ cup dried apricots, diced

1 cup couscous

⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 tablespoons honey, divided

2 Cornish hens

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Ras El Hanout seasoning

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the apricots and couscous into the broth. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes.

3. Remove the lid from the saucepan and fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the almonds, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the honey.

4. Season the Cornish hens with salt and pepper. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with the Ras El Hanout seasoning and smear evenly over the skin of the Cornish hens.

5. Stuff the cavities of the hens with the couscous mixture. Transfer the Cornish hens to a baking sheet, tie their legs together with twine and roast for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the Cornish hens with the remaining 1 tablespoon honey and any juice from the pan. Return to the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the Cornish hens reaches 180°F, 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Let the hens rest for 10 minutes before serving warm.

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