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Cornish Hens

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Recipes? Got 2 1.5lbs each defrosting in the fridge now..........going to do something with them, just don't know what....as long as it goes with wine, it will be fine for tonight!

other things at my disposal, some russet potatoes, (left over from my pommes pallasion), mirepoix....dutch oven, grill.....either or.

(wouldn't mind a grilling recipe)
post #2 of 17
Here is a favorite of mine, I think this was from a Gourmet or BA yearly cookbook in the late 80's. I have tweaked it quite a lot, mostly upped spice and cut salt a bit as mentioned in note at end.

Four Pepper Roasted Game Hens


Preheat oven to 325

4 Servings

4 Cornish Hens

Mix the following in a small bowl-

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 Tabls. good paprika

1/4 teas. each red, black, and white pepper

2 1/2 teas. salt

In roasting pan mix 1/2 cup each chopped carrots, celery, onion, potato and 1 Tabls. caraway seed.

Sprinkle with olive oil or white wine and roast for 25 minutes, stirring once.

While veggies are roasting, rub pepper mixture over hens--hands work best!!

Place hens on top of veggies and roast 40 minutes, baste and roast 20 minutes more.

I usually make a recipe the way it is written the first time, and, have found I like this with a little more pepper and a little less salt.

Enjoy

Nan
post #3 of 17
I cut mine with shears taking out the spine and laying them flat at the breast bone. I dress mine with fresh rosemary and thyme, lemon (or other citrus) zest, s&p, hint of dijon and a drizzle of corn oil. Let sit for .5 hours and then grill.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
how to you remove/prep debone it?
post #5 of 17
Are you looking to stuff the bird? IMO the only reason to debone a game hen is to stuff while making it look like it still has bones and is whole.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I meant as you described....just cut it up its back with shears and lay flat?
post #7 of 17
Is it the same as partridge? It's so difficult to find game.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 17
Take a pair of sturdy kitchen shears and just cut along each side of the spine/backbone effectively removing entire spine. The bird will lay flat naturally.

Another goody for the grill is mix some clover honey, orange zest, fresh orange juice and a touch of whiskey. S&p the bird, drizzle with a bit of oil, grill and once the bird is about half way done start brushing with the honey citrus glaze. Watching and turning often enough so as to not let the glaze burn.
post #9 of 17
These are all nice replies. I always cook my cornish hens like chicken adobo and/or roast it with my potatoes, carrots and parsnips after marinating overnight.
Bill and Izzie: Proud parents of a soldier.
Looking back on all the mistakes I've made in my life, all I can say is I've gotten a lot of miles out of stupid.
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Bill and Izzie: Proud parents of a soldier.
Looking back on all the mistakes I've made in my life, all I can say is I've gotten a lot of miles out of stupid.
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post #10 of 17
Butterfly (or, better, spatchcock), brine, season, cook under a brick. Game hen breasts dry easily. I find brining to be the solution. Game hens work well on the roti, and in a Romertopf.

Normal brine = 1 cup Diamond or 3/4 cup Morton kosher or 1/2 cup table salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 7 cups water. If you prefer (I do) you may replace the vinegar and vinegar with 2 cups lemon or limeade and reduce the amount of water accordingly. Or you may replace anything with anything else. The idea is to keep roughly the same balance of salt, sour and sweet. BTW, a brine should not taste good on its own. A whole game hen needs between 2 and 8 hours in the brine. Pieces, between 1/2 an hour and 3 hours.

The last pair of game hens I cooked I cooked in the normal French manner for roasting most poultry -- that is, I stuffed the space between the breast and skin with butter, stuffed the cavity loosely with a 1/4 lemon, a little onion, and a piece of fresh rosemary, trussed the legs, thighs and wings, oiled and seasoned the birds, then roasted them in a hot (425F) oven. During the roasting, I rotated the birds so they cooked on all four sides. Last side up -- the breast.

I made a bread dressing and cooked it outside of the birds, while the birds brined. Last week I used a mix of leftover whole wheat and French bread, mixed with onions, herbs, mushrooms and pumpking seeds. The dressing was bound with stock and eggs -- roughly half and half.

As good as your getting, and with your natural talent -- you'll be doing these sorts of things without following a recipe very soon. The point is not to cook without a recipe per se, but to use what's in your pantry and what strikes you in the market. You definitely have the feel.

BDL
post #11 of 17
My favorite way is to smoke them, there's usually room for a couple when I do some ribs or butts, don't usually fire up the cooker for just one or two little birds.

I rinse them inside and out, lightly salt the cavity. Put in a clove or two of peeled and half mashed garlic, a bit of fresh cilantro and a lime wedge or two, depending on what fits. They are small, not a lot of room in there. Brush some olive oil on the skin and smoke at 225 - 250 F for maybe two hours. I imagine that the same prep method would work if you grilled them over medium indirect heat.

I'm a big fan of stuffing citrus into poultry, it helps both flavor and moistness. Last Thanksgiving I did the turkey for my wife's family and put in chunks of orange and lemon, along with a several cloves of garlic and some rosemary sprigs - careful, I think it is pretty easy to 'over rosemary' poultry. They claimed it was great, but given that they usually fix canned veggies and instant potatoes for holiday meals ...

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #12 of 17
Yes to smoking hens. Team, if you haven't combined brining with smoking yet ... it's time.

BDL
post #13 of 17
Drop those little birds in a the deep fryer some time after using your favorite brine. Very fast meal and very tasty.
post #14 of 17
That's just got to be good.

BDL
post #15 of 17
I brine most of my chickens, turkey for sure. As a matter of fact I have a couple of bone-in, skin on chicken breasts soaking as I type this. It's a simple brine with salt ( doh! ) a bay leaf, some whole black peppercorns and a few juniper berries. Gee, I wonder if the fact that I am sipping on a tall, cool gin and tonic at the moment might have had an influence on tossing in those juniper berries? The thread on grilling chicken got me wanting to actually cook some. If it turns out nicely, there may be pictures on the appropriate thread later tonight, we shall see.

I can't, however, remember if I've brined Cornish hens before. I'll definitely give it a try. And deep frying does sound really good!

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #16 of 17
RP,

It's probably to late now but a nice stuffing with wildrice, butter, shallots, pecans, chopped parsley (flatleaf) and mabe just a bit of roasted chicken jus for moisture.

Some nice steamed baby carrots (the real one not the "Tourned" ones) as a side and as far as a sauce, I favor a wild mushroom demi for sure.:smiles:
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just put a rub on them, butterflied and threw them on the grill....came out great!!

bear with me..i got ANOTHER new camera...









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