YIELD Makes 6 servings
|6||fresh or thawed frozen Rock Cornish game hens (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds each)*|
|1||small onion, cut into 6 wedges|
|1||lemon, cut into 6 wedges|
|2||tablespoons butter, softened|
|1/2||cup apricot preserves|
|1||tablespoon lemon juice|
|1||teaspoon shredded lemon peel|
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash hens inside and out with cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Place 1 onion wedge and 1 lemon wedge in cavity of each hen. Tuck wings under hens. Tie legs together with cotton string. Place hens on meat rack in shallow roasting pan. Spread butter evenly over hens; sprinkle with salt. Roast 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine apricot preserves, lemon juice and lemon peel. Brush half of mixture over hens; roast 15 minutes. Brush hens with remaining preserve mixture; roast 15 minutes more or until hens are glazed and internal temperature is 180°F.** Cut string with scissors; discard. Remove onion and lemon wedges from cavities; discard.
**Since Rock Cornish game hens are so small, the most accurate way to measure internal temperature is with an instant-read thermometer, which has a narrower stem than a standard meat thermometer. Insert thermometer in fleshy part of thigh. Do not leave the thermometer in the hen during roasting since the thermometer is not ovenproof.
- Transfer hens to cutting board; let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Internal temperature will continue to rise 5°F to 10°F during stand time.
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