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

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The recipe was originally published as Cornish Hens with Middle Eastern Mojo de Ajo on

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