Cornish Hens are just baby chickens but they taste completely different. They present really well when serving and cook in a short period of time.
I like serving them for dinner parties or for the holidays. Typically 1/2 a Cornish hen is enough for one person but someone with a good appetite could eat a whole one.
Step 1: Ingredients
- Cornish Hens
- Garlic butter or salted butter
- Cotton string or twine
Step 2: Check Out the Video
Here is a video of the whole recipe, the written directions follow:
Step 3: Preparing the Cornish Hens
First thing is you want to make sure the Cornish hens are thawed if you purchased them frozen. If you need to thaw them quickly do it in a bucket of cold water with the plastic still around the hens.
- Preheat oven to 325F in a convection oven or 350F in a regular oven.
- Unwrap the cornish hens from plastic and remove the necks.
- Using your finger to separate the skin from the breast meat. Do this gently, try not to tear the skin.
- Soften some garlic butter and cut into small pieces. If you don't have garlic butter you can use regular salted butter. Stuff the pieces of butter between the skin and the breast meat.
- Optional: for additional flavor you can place some rosemary or thyme in with the butter.
- Using some cotton string or butchers twine truss the hens. Wrap the string around the back of the bird and wings. Cross behind the breast and around the two drumsticks to hold them together. Trussing keeps the bird in one uniform shape that helps the bird cook evenly.
- Roughly chop some carrots and onions. Place the carrots and onions in the bottom of a roasting pan, they will serve as a make shift rack to keep the hens off the bottom of the pan. The veggies will also cook in the juices of the hens adding lots of flavor.
- Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Squeeze some lemon juice all over the hens and place a lemon wedge in each cavity of the bird, ideally do this before you truss the hens.
Step 4: Cooking and Serving
Place the Cornish hens in the preheated oven and roast until juices run clear or about 1 hour 15 minutes. Basting with it's own juices once or twice if you like. Be sure to remove the trussing string before serving.
Serve them with some french fries or other starchy side dish. The carrots and onions have loads of flavor from the juices. Impress each of your dinner guests with their own Cornish hen.
The only word I can use to describe them is succulent!. Go roast some Cornish hens, you will love them!