Defrosting the Cornish hens, now what??? Recipes? Tips?
- ideabaker Nov 18, 2008 09:20 AM
Hi all. Just going through my deep freezer and found Cornish hens that I bought on sale ($2.09/lb) about a month ago. Each one is about 1/2-3/4 of a pound. I just tossed the frozen birds into the fridge and am now drawing a complete blank about preparing them as it has been a few years since I've cooked Cornish hens.
First, how long do I let them defrost in the fridge? They are solidly frozen through and through.
Second, should I expect a giblet bag inside? Do I stuff them with citrus or anything to keep them moist? How long do I cook them until they are done? Best seasonings? Would doing them in a Brown-In-Bag be cheating??? What temp in the oven?
Thank you in advance for any tips, suggestions, warnings :-), or other things I should keep in mind when working with these birds.
somervilleoldtimer, so, I take out the giblets, then baste with your suggested sauce (I love the taste of fruits and meats together so would imagine the currant jelly, mustard/garlic mix would be delightful!)... at what temp would you roast, and for how long? Thank you for your suggestion. Also, would another kind of preserve/jelly taste as good... raspberry or apricot for instance?
Yes. Take out the giblets when the birds are thawed. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper, and possibly a cut clove of garlic, and rub with some of the sauce. Roast at 350, about 15 minutes/pound? What do others say? Not very long. Keep basting with the rest of the sauce. Make a lovely rice salad to go with. Yum!
I wouldn't use raspberry. Apricot might be tasty. I like red currant because there's a tang in addition to all that flavor and sweetness.
somervilleoldtimer, the flavors sound yummy so I'm headed out to get some blackcurrant jelly today... I also like Will Owen's idea of serving them split over sausage laden stuffing; I may try combining your two methods. Boy am I getting hungry thinking about these little birds. I put two of them in the fridge to defrost, should I expect that to serve four, or only two???
One of my grandfather's specialties is rock cornish hens cooked on a rotisserie, basted with barbecue sauce. Yum!
The ones I get usually don't have the giblets, but it is easy to check. You should rinse them inside and out anyway before preparing.
They could fully defrost in two days, the back of the fridge is usually colder than the front because people open the fridge door all the time.
To keep them very moist, I bake them in a covered baking dish (not just foiled) for an hour at 400 degrees and then uncover and bake again for about 45 minutes for a nice brown. Now, oven temps will vary sometimes, so check the birds after the uncovered phase after 30 minutes. If not brown enough after 45 minutes, turn on the broiler for five minutes or so. I like them moist and tender, so I cook covered longer than most people
I like to stuff them with a rice mixture. Cook rice first, just a little under done, not much) Use chicken broth for cooking rice.
2 recipes come to mind:
Cook White rice, add iced apricots and celery, green onion, curry spice, salt (can add slivered almonds if you want)
Cook Pecan rice (Konriko) and tablespoon of wild rice, add diced artichoke hearts, pecans, salt and pepper
(Note: Konriko Pecan rice can be hard to find. Also, the rice is a variety of wild rice and has a nutty flavor. Some boxes will include a packet of pecan flavor and pecans, but not necessary. The rice variety has an inherent nutty flavor.
Here's a picture of the pecan rice http://shopping.msn.com/prices/konrik...
That's the way I have preprared hens, (sorry, didn't use a recipe), but there are many recipes online and I hope to read about more here on CH of the proven sucesses of them.
They are just little chickens, a little gamier flavor. There are multiude of ways to prepare them just as there are ways to bake chickens.