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Apple Glaze Cornish Hen with Toasted Herb Dressing

An easy Apple Glaze Cornish Hen served with Toasted Herb Dressing that is much quicker to prepare than turkey. A must for your holiday table!
Course:Main Course
Keywords:cornish hen, cornish hen recipe, dinner recipes, herb dressing, roasted cornish hen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 2 cornish hens
Calories845 kcal


For the apple glaze cornish hen:

  • 2 (1 to 1 1/4 pound) cornish hens, thawed
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into two
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup apple jelly
  • 2 Tablespoons Kikkoman® Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

For the toasted herb dressing:

  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


To prepare the apple glaze cornish hen:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Pat dry each hen. Rub each with a quarter of a lemon all around the outside and then brush with a mixture of oil, salt, and pepper. Place quartered lemon and one sprig of thyme into the cavity of each hen, tie the legs with kitchen twine, and then tuck the wing tips under each hen.
  • Next, transfer the hens to the rack of a large roasting pan and add just a bit of water or chicken broth to the bottom of the pan to prevent drippings to burn. Roast them in the oven middle rack for about 60 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) registers 165°F. However, 25 to 30 minutes before taking them out of the oven, brush with the apple glaze two to three times times. To make this, mix apple jelly,  Kikkoman® Soy Sauce, mustard, and honey in a bowl and brush each hen all over.  

To prepare the toasted herb dressing:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and sweat chopped onion for about 3-4 minutes. Then, cook garlic for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Do not let brown! Add butter and let melt. Add Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs and let cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste (I prefer mine slightly spicy) , add fresh thyme leaves, and if desired, cooked corn kernels, peas, and carrots. Serve with Apple Glaze Cornish Hen and enjoy! NOTE: Herb dressing will be buttery and crunchy. If you prefer a softer texture, stir in just a few tablespoons of chicken broth so the dressing will be moist but not mush.

Recipe Notes

  • I added cooked frozen carrots, peas, and corn to my herb dressing making it slightly sweet -- which pairs well with the apple glaze from the cornish hen.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze roasted cornish hens for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 845kcal | Carbohydrates: 107g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 4062mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 4mg
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