Monday, September 20, 2010

Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens and Vegetables

When you think about it, everything is cuter when it is in miniature. Doll houses, teacup puppies, babies....everything is better when it's tiny. Well, almost everything.

If you have never tried them, Cornish game hens are basically miniature chickens. A single Cornish hen makes the perfect elegant individual dinner portion. They are very inexpensive, easy to make, and an impressive please-your-man kind of dish.

Instead of pleasing my man with this dish, I invited over my sorority sister Betsy to teach her how to make the hens. Hilarity ensued.

"If they're called Cornish game hens, where are they from? Corn?"

Anyways, the next time you feel like throwing together something a lil extra fancy (yet still super easy), give these babies a try!

  • 2 Cornish game hens. They usually sell these in a frozen two-pack at the grocery store. Make sure to give them at least a day or two to thaw in the fridge!
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 5-6 small red potatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. dried sage
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves. Or you can use 1 tbsp. dried thyme.
  • Salt and garlic pepper
Feel free to add more or less vegetables; you basically just need enough to create a nice bed for the hens. Also, feel free to substitute any other herbs you may have on hand. Well, maybe not ANY other herbs.... ;)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut up your vegetables into bite sized chunks of equal size and throw them into a roasting pan (or large baking dish if you don't have one. You could also buy a foil roasting pan to throw away after for easy clean-up!)

Save a few chunks of the onion and set them aside.

In a bowl, whisk together your olive oil, garlic, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Now it's time to get down to the business...put on some sexy Marvin Gaye music and lay down your lovely hens on the bed of vegetables, breast side up. Now massage them tenderly with the delicious herb and olive oil mixture you just made, making sure to work it into every nook and cranny....don't be afraid to get messy and show those ladies some love. We named ours Henrietta and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Oh, and then stick the leftover onion chunks up their butt. You can cut the Marvin Gaye music here, cause there ain't nothin' sexy about that.

Sprinkle the hens and veggies with salt and garlic pepper to taste, and pour the wine and chicken broth into the pan.

Pop the hens in the oven for 45 minutes, and then raise the heat to 400 for 15 minutes to get them nice and beautifully browned. You will know they are done when the legs move freely in their sockets and the juices run clean when you stick a fork or knife into the thickest part of the thigh.

Let the hens rest for about 10 minutes so the juices get absorbed back into the meat and they stay nice and moist (sorry for those of you who hate the word "moist".) Then spoon the veggies onto a serving platter and lay the hens on top. Gawgeous!

Optional: If you want, you can create a super flavorful and simple gravy by pouring the pan juices into a small saucepan. Whisk in about a tablespoon of flour and let the mixture simmer over medium high until it's nice and thick. Pour through a strainer to remove any lumps. Enjoy!

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