Cornish Hens with Fresh Figs



  • Stuffing:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup veal demi glace
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots or figs, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • Figs and sauce
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 pint fresh figs (or other fruit), stemmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup cabernet
  • 1 1/3 cups veal demi-glace
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and pepper
  • Hens:
  • 4 hens
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp canola oil


  1. Make stuffing:
  2. Cook onion, celery and garlic in butter in a heavy 10" skillet over moderate hear, stirring occasionally, until golden (10 minutes). Add demi-glace and bring to a boil. Stir in other ingredients and combine.
  3. Figs and Sauce:
  4. Heat 2 tbsp butter in large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foamy. Saute figs without stirring 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add shallots and saute until golden, 3-5 minutes. Add wine and 10 fig halves (reserve the rest of the fruit) and bring to a boil, stirring and mashing the figs, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add demi-glace. Combine cornstarch with vinegar and pour into skillet, whisking to incorporate. Boil sauce 2 minutes and strain through a fine sieve into a heavy saucepan. Stir in tarragon, salt and pepper.
  5. Hens:
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Stuff hens and season. Heat butter and oil in heavy skillet and brown hens well on all sides (10 minutes). Roast breast side up in a foil pan until done (30 minutes or until clear liquid runs when leg poked with a knife). Add reserved fruit to the pan for the last 5 minutes of roasting. While hens are roasting, bring sauce to a boil and add 1 tbsp butter for flavor. Serve hens with sauce.

Additional Notes

Sophisticated and delicious.