Cornish Game Hens


I decided to go a little non-traditional this Thanksgiving, and make cornish hens instead of turkey. I’ve never made them before, and am so glad I did… they were truly incredible. Seriously. I combined two recipes, one was for a turkey breast, and have to say, it’s a brilliant combo. I will tell you there are a lot of ingredients, but don’t shy away because of that… there’s a rub for the bird, in addition to what’s put in the cavity, so it’s really pretty straight forward. I’m giving you the recipe to make two hens, so if you just want to make one, simply divide everything in half.

Cornish Game Hens

Ingredients

For The Cavity

  • 4 cloves garlic (2 for each hen) + 8 additional cloves garlic for arranging around hens
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (1 per hen)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half (1/2 onion per hen)
  • 4 lemon wedges (2 per hen)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (1 per hen)

Herb Rub Mix

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

For Basting

  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Season hens with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff hens with cavity ingredients.
  4. Generously rub herb mix all over hens and underneath skin.
  5. Arrange 8 garlic cloves around hens in small roasting pan (you don’t need a rack).
  6. Add some chicken broth to pan. I didn’t measure but made sure the bottom of pan was covered.
  7. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Combine wine, chicken broth and olive oil in a bowl.
  9. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. and pour basting liquid over hens.
  10. Baste every 10 minutes, and continue roasting for 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear.

* To make a gravy/sauce, transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a saucepan, and boil until liquid reduces to a sauce consistency, about 8 minutes. 

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BBQ Sauce


I came across Carla Hall’s BBQ Chicken recipe on The Chew’s website while I was searching for chicken dishes as I had some chicken thighs that needed to be made right away, put in the freezer or thrown out. The comments on the page said there were a few missing ingredients that were on the show, so I watched the video from that day, and Carla mentioned a few of them that weren’t listed. I decided to give it a try with the addition of those ingredients, in the amounts I thought suitable, and it turned out amazing! I absolutely love this sauce!

Ingredients

Jerk Chicken Rub:

  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp. onion powder
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt

Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp. lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Jerk Chicken Rub

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together for the chicken rub in a small bowl.
  2. Mix all barbecue sauce ingredients (which includes 1 teaspoon jerk chicken rub made above) in a small pot and simmer over a low heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Adjust salt, if necessary.

I cooked my three chicken thighs (seasoned with salt & pepper) in a little extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes on each side, then transferred to a 350F oven for approximately another 10 minutes. Once cooked through, I removed from the oven & brushed the pieces with the barbecue sauce. 

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