Cornish Hens with Middle Eastern Mojo de Ajo

Middle Eastern Cornish Hen Crop
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 65 mins

Mojo is a Cuban marinade traditionally containing oil, garlic and sour oranges. Look for za'atar and sumac in Middle Eastern markets.


1/4cup vegetable oil
1/4cup olive oil
1cup whole garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 heads)
1 jalapeño pepper, very thinly sliced
1tablespoon za'atar
1/2tablespoon sumac
3/4cup fresh lemon juice
1/4cup chopped parsley
1/4teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4small Cornish game hens


  1. Heat oils in a medium saucepan over high heat  2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, carefully shaking pan until garlic starts turning golden. Remove from heat and quickly add jalapeño, za’atar and sumac. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Let cool.
  2. Combine hens and marinade in a large zip-top plastic bag. Place in refrigerator; marinate at least 12 but no more than 24 hours. Place hens, breast side up, and marinade in a roasting pan or baking dish; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before roasting.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Roast hens 1 hour, or until skin is golden and juices run clear, basting occasionally with marinade. Serve with pan juices and Habanero Mojo.

Recipe by Chef Michelle Bernstein

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Calories 340
  • Fat 20g
  • Saturated Fat 2.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 8g
  • Cholesterol 95mg
  • Sodium 160mg
  • Potassium 280mg
  • Carbohydrate 8g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 22g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 4%
  • Vitamin C 25%
  • Calcium 2%
  • Iron 8%