View Full Version : Cornish Hens

01-04-04, 02:28 AM
This isn't cheap, but when we can find these teeny chickens on sale I can't pass them up. I didn't try cooking these for a long time because it seemed like cooking several birds would be difficult- but it's really not! And they are soooooooo good! I'll write this as though I'm just cooking one hen, to eliminate annoying plurals. Normally you can serve this as a half a hen per person, if they're really small one per person (or if you're really hungry or want leftovers)

If they're not already cleared out, of course, remove the giblets and anything else inside (yuck).

Rub the skin down with butter. Make several small incisions in the hen's skin (be carful not to disengage too muck skin from the muscle; just enough to loosen it) and insert chunks of butter under the skin- that way it will melt under the skin while it cooks. Or; use an injector (if I had one, I would use plain melted butter, or a solution of melted butter with some white wine mixed in, or just white wine- any chep chardonay).

Dice red apples and red pototoes together, and add just enough of the white wine to wet them. Add any other bits of fruits that you like (like grapes!). Suff the empty cavity of the hen with these. Tie the legs together to seal it (but don't sel it too tight, if you leave it loose enough the fruit juices will leak out allowing you to use a baster to squirt it over the hen as it cooks).

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, or whatever you see fit. I'm really clueless about oven temp- just as long as it becomes completely cooked. Sometimes I'll even do 500 degrees, to make the skin crispy and brown. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK. Too undercooked is bad, but can be fixed. Overcooked is too late.

Shake enough paprika over the hen to slightly redden it's skin. Just a light dusting of it (mild paprika, not a really spicy kind)

Slice lemons (2 thin slices per hen). With toothpicks, skewer the lemon slices to the top of the hen. Do the same with several slices of raw bacon.

Stick it in the oven, inside something that can collect juices (I use a turkey pan, uncovered, for 2-4 hens) for long enough to cook. As it cooks, use the baster to squirt the juices over the skin every now and then.

I wish I could give you a time on this. I just use a meat thermometor to see how far along it's come once the skin has begun to slightly darken, or as the bacon is starting to become slightly crispy. And keep on checking until they're done.

Then ya eat um! I usually serve saffron rice with them, or wild rice, cooked with the same wine (If I have cheap wine, it goes in about everything I cook). And wine to drink with it! If not, iced tea with lemon or grape juice.

I hope I'm not forgetting anything!

01-04-04, 01:00 PM
I am trying this this week. Could I do it with a reglualr chicken, not the tiny ones and adjust the cooking time? I usually hate recipies b/c one ingredient I don't care for throws off the whole thing. This is doable.

01-04-04, 04:45 PM
I always think, "why not" when cooking!

Let me know how it turns out! Especially if you try using different seasonings, I'm always go for experimentation.

01-04-04, 05:45 PM
drooling... ;^) I'll have to give this a try. We raise a few chickens for ourselves and eat it often. This sounds like a wonderful spin to shake up the usual spicing SubtleMuttle. We cooked up two yesterday and company didn't show so there is already a whack of left overs.. so this one will have to wait until next week at least.

FlakeyGirl: looking forward to your review.

01-04-04, 10:27 PM
:D Crosses her fingers! The pressure's on!

01-21-04, 01:16 PM
This was very good and pretty easy. I think I overdid it on the butter, the "juices" were just oil. Then again, I may have overdone it on the bacon, I went a little crazy. Apples, grapes and potatoes were delish.

01-21-04, 04:35 PM
Yummmy!!! I tried this recipe the other night...but instead of the Cornish hens I used Chicken Breast (what can I say they had a sale on them for 99 cents a pound :D) It turned out delicious. I had to reduce the cooking time, but it still turned out deliciouses. I'm going to try and see if I can get the same results using my slow cooker, I have a rack that I can put the chicken on. I'll let you know how it turns out. And will post the recipe once I get it to perfection.