Cornish Hens with Apricot Mole Sauce

Cornish Hens with Apricot Mole Sauce
4 servings

Mexican chocolate is available in most Mexican grocery stores but any good-quality unsweetened bitter chocolate can be substituted. Apricots and pine nuts give this mole sauce an interesting depth of flavour as do the mix of dried chiles. You can just use one variety of chile pepper if you like. Yield is 4 servings.



Mole Sauce

dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
large tomato, halved
cup hot water
cup chicken stock
Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
cup pine nuts, toasted
cup dried apricots
tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves
oz Mexican Chocolate, chopped
Tbsp fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
Tbsp vegetable oil
clove garlic, minced
Coarse salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Honey, to taste

Cornish Hens

Cornish game hens, 1 ½ pounds each
Vegetable oil, for brushing hens
clove garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2

Put the chiles on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

Soak the roasted chiles in 1 cup hot boiling water for 30 minutes or until softened (you may need to put a small plate on top of the chiles to keep them submerged in the hot water).

Step 4

Puree the chiles and soaking liquid in a blender.

Step 5

Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl.

Step 6

Next, puree the tomatoes in the blender.

Step 7

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, 1 tbsp. of the sesame seeds, the pine nuts, apricots, cinnamon, cloves, chocolate and breadcrumbs.

Step 8

Puree to a smooth consistency. Pass the mixture through a medium strainer over a bowl.

Step 9

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat.

Step 10

Add the garlic and the chile puree and cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and darkened.

Step 11

Add the tomato puree and continue cooking, stirring constantly, 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Step 12

Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups chicken stock and partially cover the pot with a lid.

Step 13

Cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken enough to coat a spoon.

Step 14

Season mole with salt, sugar and honey.

Step 15

Garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

Step 16

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Step 17

Place the Cornish hens, breast-side up, in a roasting pan, truss with kitchen string, brush them with oil, rub with the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Step 18

Roast the hens 35 minutes or until cooked through internal temp of 175 degrees F.

Step 19

Let the hens rest for 5 minutes, carve them and serve them with the mole sauce.

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