This smells so good when it's roasting! Perfect for the cooler months.

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Serves 4

You will need:

For the cornish hens:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1/2 firm ripe pear, cut widthwise, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbalespoon balsamic vinegar
7 oz French or Greek feta, crumbled
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 1 1/2-lb Cornish hens, butterflied

For the roasting pan:
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon canola oil
11/2 firm ripe pear, sliced into rounds
2 heads garlic, cut in half, top parts discarded
1/2 cup dried figs
6 small shallots
small bunch rosemary
small bunch thyme

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add shallots and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add figs, pear, thyme, and rosemary.
  5. Continue sautéing for 7–8 minutes.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and cook down until liquid has started to evaporate.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and fold in crumbled feta, butter, parsley, salt and pepper.
  8. Keep in a bowl at room temperature until ready to stuff hens.
  9. To prepare hens, tuck wings under breast, and carefully work your fingers under skin to create space for stuffng.
  10. Divide the stuffing mixture in half and gently place using a teaspoon under the skin of legs and breast of each hen.
  11. Lightly press to evenly distribute and maintain shape.
  12. Chill hens on a sheet pan until stuffing is set, about 1 hour.
  13. Meanwhile, in a large cast iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over high heat.
  14. Add sliced pears, garlic, figs, and shallots, and cook until golden. Turns pears once after 2 minutes to brown both sides.
  15. Once golden, place on the outer edge of a large roasting pan or oven-safe skillet.
  16. Add remaining tablespoon of canola oil to cast iron pan.
  17. Salt and pepper hens, and sear for 2 minutes, skin-side down.
  18. Transfer to the pan or skillet where you’ve placed the pears, garlic, figs and shallots.
  19. Roast for 25 minutes.
  20. Add rosemary and thyme sprigs and continue roasting for another 10 minutes, until skin is golden.
  21. Transfer hens to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes prior to cutting in half.
  22. Serve with roasted pears, garlic, figs, and shallots.


This smells so good when it's roasting! Perfect for the cooler months.
Photography by Food+styling by Carlo Geraci | Photography by Linda Pugliese

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