Cornish hens with soy & mustard sauce

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15 min


4 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 8 minutes, Roasting Time: 60 minutes


  • 4 poussins or Cornish hens
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 2 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tbsp cold butter , cubed


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Rinse Cornish hens inside and out, then pat dry. Place on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Season cavities with salt and pepper and tuck in thyme and garlic. Rub skin with 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in centre of oven, basting occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 170F (77C), 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand, loosely covered, 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for sauce, stir apple juice with vinegar and soy in a large frying pan set over high heat. Boil, stirring often, until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in mustard until mixed. Reduce heat to medium. Gradually whisk in cold butter, a cube at a time. Sauce will thicken slightly.
  • Place Cornish hens whole on plates, or first carve leg and breast. Drizzle with sauce or serve on the side. Excellent with Potato Pavé.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 823,
  • Protein
  • 52.1 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.5 g,
  • Fat
  • 59.1 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.2 g,
  • Sodium
  • 892 mg.

Rob Feenie likes to use poussins (small chickens) but for this recipe, we used Cornish hens instead. And while the Vancouver chef uses icewine in his sauce, we found inexpensive apple juice or cider produced a flavourful sauce.