Sunday Supper: Butterflied Cornish Hens with Almond Couscous

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Sunday Supper: Butterflied Cornish Hens with Almond Couscous
  • Yield:4
  • Active time:30
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

This meal is ideal for Sundays when you're craving something a little bit fancy, but don't want to spend hours hovering over the stove. The butterflied hens cook quickly, and serving them with couscous makes this meal come together in no time.

Both of these dishes can be tailored to your family's tastes, if cumin isn't a favorite on the spice rack try curry powder, or turmeric. And if you've got a pinch of saffron sitting around, add it to the stock when you bring it up to a simmer for a bolder flavored couscous. Serve this meal with some crisp white wine, some wilted spinach, and dollop of mango chutney.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at (or read


  • 4 Cornish Game Hens (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil
  • Almond Raisin Couscous
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 375°. Place game hen breast side down on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of back bone and remove; flip hen over and press down so that hen flattens. Repeat with remaining bird.

  2. 2.

    Mix cumin, smoked paprika and salt together. Drizzle olive oil over birds and rub spice mixture onto both sides of each bird. Place birds breast side up into pyrex baking dish, bake until birds are brown and internal temperature reaches 170°, about an hour.

  3. 3.

    Bring chicken stock and olive oil to a simmer in a small saucepan, add couscous cover and turn off heat. Let sit until all liquid has been absorbed, or about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper and toss with almonds and raisins.

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