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Grilled Poussins With Orange-Cumin Glaze


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  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 (1/4-inch) piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 thyme sprig, plus 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 small poussins or Cornish hens (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked couscous
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make glaze: In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring cumin, coriander, orange juice, ginger, half of zest, garlic and thyme sprig to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half, 7 minutes. Discard garlic clove and stir in honey. Reduce heat and simmer gently until ready to use.

Meanwhile, rub hens all over with oil, salt, pepper, thyme leaves and remaining orange zest. Place hens, breast-side up, in a small roasting pan and transfer to oven.

Roast hens until skins begin to crisp, 7 minutes. Remove from oven and generously brush with warm glaze. Return to oven and continue to roast until meat is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and generously brush with glaze. Return to oven and roast until glaze browns, 3 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss hot couscous with melted butter. Lightly season with salt. To serve, place each hen atop a mound of hot couscous. Drizzle with any remaining glaze.


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