Although Cornish game hens may seem like a fancy meal, it is very easy to prepare. Cornish hens (also known as poussin or rock Cornish hen) are actually just a hybrid chicken—a broiler chicken and not a game bird. The name is also misleading in that it can be male or female, so isn't really a hen at all.
This recipe for Cornish game hens is easily doubled for a family. Thyme and chives are called for in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite combination of fresh or dried herbs. You can roast the hens in a large heavy skillet or roasting pan.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or about 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- Optional: 2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives or parsley
- 1 medium onion (quartered and sliced)
- 1 pound small red or gold potatoes (scrubbed and cut in 1- to 2-inch chunks)
- 3 medium carrots (sliced crosswise then lengthwise into strips about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Cornish game hens
- Optional: 1 lemon (cut up)
- Optional: 1 small onion (cut into chunks)
- Optional: Sprigs of fresh herbs
- Heat the oven to 375 F.
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over low heat. Add the minced garlic and herbs. Remove about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside.
- Add the onion slices, potatoes, and carrots to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the vegetables with the butter, oil, and herbs; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cavities of the game hens with salt and pepper.
- Rub the reserved herb mixture all over the hens. If desired, put pieces of lemon and onion and some herb sprigs in the cavities.
- If the skillet is not oven safe, move the vegetable mixture to a baking dish or pan.
- Arrange the hens on the vegetables and place in the oven. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the hens register at least 165 F in the meatiest part of the thigh, not touching bone.
- If the hens are browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil near the end of the cooking time. If they don't brown enough, turn the broiler on for 2 to 3 minutes before you take them out of the oven.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||41 g|
|Saturated Fat||12 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||21 g|
|Dietary Fiber||10 g|