• 2 – 1 1/2 pound cornish hens

  • 1 small Mutsu apple, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, skin on, scrubbed clean

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place large cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or oven-proof dish inside on a rack while it heats.

  2. Rinse cornish hens and pat dry. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper on the outside and inside the cavities. Mix the apples, cranberries, rosemary, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture into the cavities of the cornish hens. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

  3. Remove now hot skillet/dish from the oven and place prepared birds inside, trying to move them as little as possible once they’ve made contact.

  4. Scatter the potatoes around the cornish hens in the skillet. Drizzle both hens and potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot on top of the chicken as well as the potatoes.

  5. Place the skillet back in the oven and roast for about 1 hour until the skin has turned golden brown and crispy, the potatoes start to shrivel and the internal temperature of the chicken is about 180 degrees.

  6. Remove from the oven, let rest a few minutes before carving. Serve with accumulated juices from the bottom of the skillet.

| Adapted from Running to the Kitchen