[Collegiate Meals] Toaster Oven Cornish Hens




Introduction: [Collegiate Meals] Toaster Oven Cornish Hens

About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

The local grocer had, for $2 each, frozen Cornish Rock Hens - for $2!! Now, I do have an oven - a real one in fact. But if you're dorming, you might not have one easily accessible (I sure didn't). And being an energy wise tight wad, it seemed rather superfluous to use a large oven for such a small item.

Step 1: Ingridients

You will need

1 Hen
Pineapple Juice
Butter (to coat)

Sufficiently tall toaster oven (see below)

As I discovered, my toaster uses the top heating element in oven mode. This being the case, nothing can touch the heating element. You'll need the thermometer to make sure you have a proper cooking temperature too - my oven goes from 330 to 420 at one point on the knob. It's better to cook longer at a lower temperature than cook too fast and burn the outer bits...

Now, if your toaster isn't quite tall enough - don't fret! You can butterfly your hen by cutting out the backbone and roasting the hen "unwrapped." Cooking time will be slightly reduced with this method.

Step 2: Preparation

Start off by calibrating your toaster - aka, stick a thermometer in there, set the oven to 350 an see if it maintains 350. If it fluctuate, that's okay - but just as long as it doesn't go up to 450 and never come back down. You'll be surprised how inconsistent the heat is - but don't get too worried (toaster's don't have much mass to hold an even thermal load).

So, set toaster ovens to 350ish.

Rinse Hens and dry.

Peel back the skin (but do not remove) and pour some pineapple juice inside - pour some juice in the cavity as well. Rub butter into the skin and lightly salt. Place on a pan.

Step 3: Roast

Place hen in toaster.

If you're using a meat probe (like me) roast until internal temperature reaches 165F. If you don't have a meat probe, cook until juices run clear (stick a knife in). In a normal oven, this takes about 30-45 minutes. In a toaster oven, it will be on the higher end of that scale.

If you're cooking more than one hen, in the toaster, it may take longer. As I recall - cooking two hens took about an hour.

Step 4: Serve

Serve whole with vegetables on the side. Broccoli, for example, works well. And if you're in a dorm and can't boil/steam water - you can cook it in a coffee maker.

If you want to give your skin a golden brown crust - crank up the heat in the oven for the last few minutes - just be cautious to prevent burns.



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    17 Discussions

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    Thanks for your instructable. We've been eating cornish hens for years because they were so cheap to buy. We cook ours on the grill at approx 450 degrees for an hour. Need to keep turning them so they don't become crispy critters.

    When you say you can butterfly a hen by cutting out the backbone, I think the author is referring to a method called "spathcock". Spatchcocking is super easy and a great way to cook a bird. Unfortunately, I can't find an Instructable article on that.

    Is there a juice i can use other then pineapple? I don't like pineapple very much.

    A great idea. I recommend brining the hen for about an hour though, to give it more juice and some extra kick. I'm doing this next week.

    I used this Instructable with a real oven, a normal meat thermometer and it came out awesome! The pineapple juice made it smell awesome when cooking. Now I can pretend like I've got some sort of cooking skill. Thanks!

    We have a tall toaster oven, cost andextra 5 quid for.... a rotisserie rack, it's amazing you can cook really odd food that's really good (don't start kebabs) rotisserie pork joint though, the only problem is the oven wears it self out very fast under real cooking (small fast oven plus toaster oven = food faster than using big ovens....

    6 replies

    Are you speaking if this by Ron P.? http://preview.tinyurl.com/yqbas7
    My mom has one, works well, but it has developed an annoying squeak. Not cheap if you aren't buying during a TV promotion, but it would be hard to kludge something up that is handy as the Ronco Rotisseries are doing their specialty. The inexpensive toaster ovens are more versatile over all.

    Nope just a cheapo na name one, but the bosch or something one was something like £110 ours was £40 pounds, not on sale either. but adding a rottiserie wouldn't be complicated, turning shaft (that just happens to be though an oven...

    Getting the spit through the oven and spinning it is not the trick, it's getting the food onto the spit in the small confines of most toaster ovens. That's where the product Ronco shines. You can put the food on the spit first and the front opens wide to slip the loaded spit into the oven.

    It could be engineered to do that simply by making a simple detaching piece either end of the spit so it's snap in or something, then have one rotating hub and a freewheeling bit.

    Ha! I could have benefited from that... Then again, my toaster doesn't have the option for a rotisserie - adding to why it cost me circa $15 :p

    You could make one really easy with a small motor (even a CD drive one would do) a few reduction gears, a drill and just bits and pieces that could be found kicking about the place.

    Now Im hungry. I guess I will have to try this next time they are on sale. : ) Thanks for the info/recipe.

    Haha, they look funny all stuffed into the oven. Nice job, they look yummy.