Removing the skin from the hens both decreases calories and increases the impact of this vibrant, spicy glaze. If you’ve never cooked with Cornish hens before, you’re in for a treat.
2 (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens, halved and skin removed
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Spray a large, heavy duty roasting pan with cooking spray and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Mix together garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and rub onto hens. Let sit on a plate while preparing the glaze.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan and sauté garlic for 2 minutes, until just beginning to color. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until thickened to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear hens breast down for 5-8 minutes, in batches if need be, until deeply browned. Brush hens with glaze and transfer to the roasting pan, breast up. Brush again with glaze. Roast for another 20 minutes, brushing often with remaining glaze.