This Cornish hen recipe is infused with an herb bouquet and fresh citrus, then brushed with a sweet orange marmalade glaze—it’s a delightful, flavorful and beautiful departure from classic roasted chicken.
Cornish Hen, a Delicate and Tasty Tiny Bird
Even though a traditional roasted chicken is easily 1 of my favorite “simple things”, I love taking an chance to put together a bit of a special recipe in a similar style utilizing the smaller sized, slightly more delicate and richly-flavorful tiny bird, the Cornish hen (or Cornish game hen).
Cornish hens are typically only about one and a half to two pounds—small enough to get pleasure from 1 per person—and are the excellent bird to put together for a bit of a special event meal, or every time 1 feels like serving anything eye-popping and just a minor bit distinct.
Roasted to a light golden-brown, Cornish hens are gorgeous when nestled collectively on a platter all glossy from a slightly sweet and tasty glaze, with fragrant herbs wildly sprouting out of their cavities along with slices of citrus.
They make for a superbly rustic meal that is not only an utter treat to consume but quite fun to put together!
And as beautiful, succulent, and flavorful as Cornish hens are, they only need a very good fistful of fragrant substances and a small bit of time to roast in the oven right up until golden-brown and properly juicy and moist.
How to Cook Cornish Hens
When it comes to cooking Cornish hens, roasting them in the oven is the greatest way to prepare them.
You just want some taste pairings that will compliment the meat and deliver out its natural flavor. My individual favourite elements to use in a scrumptious Cornish hen recipe are tons of aromatic herbs and citrus.
The herbs—rosemary, parsley and thyme—provide that grassy, slightly “earthy” top quality, and when stuffed within for roasting, infuse the meat with magnificent taste.
I like to use slices of lemon and orange for the citrus, as these supply a mildly sweet note that compliments the herbs and provides the Cornish hens a genuinely wonderful fragrance, creating it sort of “festive”!
I also like to give them a bit of a glossy finish by producing a really easy orange marmalade glaze to brush on before and for the duration of the roasting process, created with only two substances: orange marmalade and a squeeze of fresh orange juice!
The consequence is a Cornish hen that is tender, juicy and succulent… and if you’re like us, you’ll be licking your fingers afterwards!
Here’s how I prepare the hens:
- I get started by rinsing out my Cornish hens and patting them dry.
- I prepare my orange marmalade glaze by whisking together some orange marmalade with some fresh orange juice, and I set this aside.
- I season each the within cavity and the outdoors of the hens liberally with salt and black pepper
- Then, I take modest fistfuls of parsley, thyme and rosemary (not chopped, but entire, with stems), and stuff the cavity with them. I get a couple of slices of lemon and orange, and stuff individuals in with the herbs as properly. (Because I like to infuse as considerably taste as feasible into my Cornish hens, I do this stage 24-48 hrs ahead of when I strategy on roasting them, but this is not entirely necessary.)
- I preheat my oven to 375°, and prepare my baking sheet with some foil and a wire rack.
- I brush some of my glaze more than every Cornish hen, then spot them into the oven, breast-side up, to roast.
- Soon after about twenty minutes, I brush a bit far more glaze above the hens, then again when a lot more soon after another twenty minutes.
- Then, I proceed to roast for about another twenty to thirty minutes (for a total roasting time of about 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes), or right up until the Cornish hens are golden-brown and the inner temperature reaches 165°.
- I permit the hens to rest for about 10-15 minutes, then place onto a platter and serve!
Guidelines & Tidbits for Cornish Hen:
- Fresh or frozen for this Cornish hen recipe: You can discover Cornish hens in most markets. If you can locate fresh, then buy those if you can only discover frozen, then that is perfectly fine as properly, just permit them to defrost in your fridge for a couple of days.
- Prep ahead for further taste: Every time I put together this Cornish hen recipe, I normally like to prep the hens about two days prior to I strategy on roasting them. I will season them and things their cavities with the herbs and citrus slices, then spot them a platter, then place the total factor into a large ziplock bag to “marinate” and infuse for a 24-48 hours. You can also prep your glaze ahead as well.
- A task for your digital thermometer: I like to use my digital thermometer when cooking anything at all that demands a particular internal temperature to make sure that it is secure to enjoy. Insert the probe into the thickest portion of the thigh, and when the temp registers 165°, the chicken is cooked through, juicy, and risk-free to consume!
- Reheating leftovers: You can reheat Cornish hens in a toaster oven at 350° for about 10-15 minutes.
- Excellent sides to serve: Wild rice pilaf, potato and onion gratin, or greens are wonderful to serve with this recipe.