A classic of Sephardic cooking from Morocco, Cornish Hens with Fresh Figs is a delightful tagine pairing perfectly with a warm crusty bread. Fresh figs add extraordinary flavor to the rich taste of Cornish hens.
Cornish Hens with Fresh Figs

Cornish Hens with Fresh Figs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 4
  • 8 large onions; thinly sliced
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 large or 4 small Cornish game hens
  • 2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 12 threads Spanish saffron; toasted and crushed
  • 12 fresh figs; peeled and halved
  1. In a heavy ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, combine the onions with 3 tablespoons of the honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and dry the hens. In a small bowl, mix the oil with the saffron, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat the hens inside and out with the mixture and set them on top of the onions. Still over medium heat, cover, and cook until the hens are tender and the juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Remove the hens from the pan and cut them in half, if desired. Return to the pan and surround with the figs. Drizzle the dish with the remaining 3 tablespoons honey.
  4. Broil, watching carefully, until the breasts turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
Figs ripen in late summer or early fall. All over Morocco, Sephardic cooks try to incorporate them into their family menus. This luscious tagine, best served with warm crusty bread, is one way of doing so.

Source: ""The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco" by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane."

Exchanges: 3 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Each serving (excluding unknown items) Calories: 351 Fat: 8 g (17.9% calories from fat) Carbohydrates: 74 g Sodium: 542 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

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