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Your favorite cornish hen recipes?

Any good ideas for cornish hen?

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  1. Couldn't you use any chicken recipe, and just reduce the cooking time?

    1. They're essentially little chickens so think about what turns your crank with a larger bird.

      That said, I deboned some last year with the glove method and stuffed them with a savory glutinous rice mix similar to what you'd get with lo mai gai (糯米鸡), though with more seafood and shiitake mushrooms and the hen providing the chicken component.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti

        My favorite roast chicken is Zuni or Keller which are both the definition of pretty simple. I'd like to do more with a cornish hen.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I see that a lot of ideas have been put out there already.

          I'll suggest three, though you'll have to work at proportions because you're using a smaller bird: drunken chicken, Hainan chicken rice, 3 cup chicken.

          If you don't want to do Chinese, there's always making a tiny galantine with one.

      2. I like 'em best deep-fried, whole:


        Dinner in about six minutes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          Fried Cornish hen is delicious...

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Rub them down, inject them, and fry em up!!

        2. Hi temp roasted with Moroccan spice rub & couscous.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rjbh20

            How high, rjbh20? I usually roast chicken at 450-475F.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I think i did these on the grill with hot indirect heat and a quick flip to brown the top. 450 should do it, particularly if you have a convection oven to help the skin get crispy.
              These are small little buggers and don't take long to get done.

              edti: just remembered that my spice rub had some honey & lemon in it, so be careful it doesn't burn. Which it will in a heartbeat once the water evaporates.

          2. I just roast them like chickens, or spatchcock them for the grill.

            1. Here is how my husband & I like Cornish game hen prepared.

              Cut out backbone. Cut bird in half down breast bone. Dry with paper towels.

              Place a few drops of vinegar and a few drops of hot sauce on each half of the bird.

              1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (or crush 1/2 chicken bouillon cube)
              1/4 teaspoon salt
              1/3 t Goya brand Sazon without annatto
              1/3 t paprika
              A few dashes of garlic powder
              1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

              Massage spices into both halves of the bird.

              Place bird halves on an oiled, foil lined baking sheet.

              Place baking sheet in fridge uncovered for 1 hour.

              Heat oven to 375°
              Roast Cornish game hen uncovered 1 hour.
              Shut oven off and put the broiler on high setting.
              Broil till skin starts to become deep golden brown.

              1. cut into pieces, marinated with middle eastern spices (tandoori mix is good in a pinch), skewered, and grilled over charcoal.

                served with saffron-decorated basmati rice and a grilled tomato.

                1. When I was growing up my mom would stuff cornish hens with a combo of melted butter, seasoned croutons, and canned mandarin oranges. She rubbed soy sauce on the outside of the hens and baked. It never occurs to me to make that now, but it is a seared (good) memory.

                  1. Korean style, stewed whole with ginseng.

                    1. Pretty much make them the same way any chicken recipe can be made. I do like to make them with fresh chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, cilantro, scallions), lemon zest, orange zest & lime zest with olive oil stuffed under the skin. Top sprinkled with kosher salt, pepper and ancho chile powder then roasted.

                      1. I like them prepared any way you cook chicken, but I think their flavor really shines with some fruit. Normally, I dislike fruit and meat, but Cornish is different for me. Cornish and duck are my meat and fruit exceptions.

                        I like them with a stuffing including a fruit (like apples, dates), spatchcocked glazed with fig jam, raspberry balsamic reduction sauces, apricot or orange glaze, fruit based "schmears", fruit gastrique, etc..... this is when I get creative with my low sugar gourmet jam collection:)

                        1. Haven't thought about them for a long time, but when I was a newlywed in the 1970s I made Cornish hen often, always using the same recipe I got out of the newspaper. It involved Dijon and white wine and I thought it was the cat's meow. Not sure that if that would seem dated at this point, but one of my first "gourmet" recipes.

                          Just dug around to see if I still had it and I do. It involved putting the birds in a tin foil packet, after brushing with mustard and adding a few spoonfuls of wine and shallots. Bake 50 minutes. No wonder I liked it so much, doesn't get much easier that that!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: coll

                            If you're really feeling adventurous how about making a 'terrine' with the hen?
                            Here's a good recipe:http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chi...
                            The only thing I do a bit differently first is to very slow simmer the bird in just enough lightly salted water to cover. Add one bay leaf and a small rough chopped onion. Simmer the until the bird just cooked through. Remove from what is now a nice beginning for a stock and let cool. Gently remove all the meat and put the bones back in the water/stock to slow simmer for another hour. Strain and reduce until you have a nice base stock and freeze in Zip lock bags. Then follow the terrine recipe.

                          2. Spatchcocked, with good tapenade smeared all over under the skin, rubbed with olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and high-heat roasted. A Dorie Greenspan recipe. (I use more tapenade than this blogger does.) http://eatingindallas.wordpress.com/2...

                            1. The Frugal Gourmet has a recipe in Three Ancient Cuisines for a duck that is smoked, steamed and deep fried. I do it with game hens and it is fabulous.

                              1. Cornish Hens in a Chanterelle/White Wine Sauce
                                (I have made this on a camp stove or hibachi while picking huckleberries, using birds thawed on ice in a cooler.) Quickly brown two or three Cornish hens in a little olive oil in a dutch oven. Remove hens and deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 small can of chicken broth. Cut up 4-5 chanterelles or shiitakes, pre-soaked if dried in warm water to cover. (Pour warm water over the dried mushrooms in a small container with a tightly fitting lid. Soak at least 45 minutes; if longer than an hour, refrigerate.)
                                Add the mushrooms to the pan and add soaking water or a little more broth and a little butter. Turn down to simmer. Season the hens with salt and pepper, placing two or three strips of fresh chives and a sprig of lemon thyme in each body cavity and add to dutch oven. Cover tightly and simmer 20 minutes to half an hour, checking for doneness at the thigh. Remove hens to platter; cover loosely with foil, and reduce juices. Serve with herbed jasmine rice.

                                1. This has become a tradition for our 4th of July celebrations. Serve it with Grilled Corn on the Cob, and Melon Ball Salad with a Raspberry Vinaigrette. It is good anytime of the year.

                                  Honey Lime Game Hens

                                  2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
                                  1/4 cup fresh lime juice
                                  3 Tbs vegetable oil
                                  2 Tbs honey
                                  2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
                                  1 tsp finely chopped lime zest
                                  1 tsp paprika
                                  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
                                  2-3 Cornish game hens, halved, backbone removed

                                  Whisk together all ingredients except the game hens in a mixing bowl and transfer to large resealable plastic bag. Add the halved game hens and turn the bag to distribute the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, turning occasionally.

                                  Remove the game hens and discard the marinade. Grill hens over indirect heat, bone side down, until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

                                  1. I used the 'beer can chicken' method in the oven or on the grill but used small V8 cans. Very good, moist and tasty.

                                    1. I really enjoy cornish hens now that it's just two of us during most weeknight dinners.

                                      I use a Dutch oven to quick roast two hens in the oven. A layer of sliced Spanish onion in the bottom of the pot acts like a rack so the hens don't bottom burn in the lidded pot while also infusing flavor. I rub the hens with olive oil, stick a rosemary branch, a garlic clove and half a lemon in each hen and roast until juices run clear. Then I remove the D oven lid and let the hens top brown. Served with saute baby portabella mushrooms and creamed spinach. So good.