- 2 (1-1 1/2 lb) cornish hens, thawed if frozen, cut in half vertically
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 14 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion halved and sliced into half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 24 large green olives pitted and coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Warmed couscous
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pat hens dry with paper towels. Liberally salt and pepper hens.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, in batches, cook hen halves until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining hen halves. Transfer to plate.
In a bowl, combine paprika, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and set aside.
Add butter and onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, saffron, lemon zest and juice, olives, and hen halves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until an internal temperature of 164°, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover partially, sprinkle with parsley, and let rest, about 10 minutes.
Serve hen halves with couscous.