Recipe for Baking Cornish Hens
Are you looking for a delicious and impressive dish to serve at your next dinner party? Look no further than baked Cornish hens! These small birds are packed with flavor and make for a unique and elegant main course. In this article, we will walk you through a simple yet mouthwatering recipe for baking Cornish hens that will leave your guests asking for seconds.
To get started, gather these ingredients for the perfect baked Cornish hens:
- 2 Cornish hens
- 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Fresh herbs (such as rosemary or parsley) for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Preparing the Cornish Hens
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Rinse the Cornish hens under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Place the hens on a cutting board and use kitchen shears to carefully cut out the backbone and remove it.
- Turn the hens breast side up and press down on the breastbone to flatten them slightly. This will help them cook evenly.
Step 2: Seasoning the Hens
- In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Rub the seasoned butter mixture all over the Cornish hens, making sure to coat them thoroughly.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over each hen, and place the lemon slices inside the cavity of each bird.
- For an extra touch of flavor, sprinkle some fresh herbs over the hens, if desired.
Step 3: Baking the Hens
- Place the seasoned Cornish hens in a baking dish, breast side up.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the hens reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the skin to crisp up and turn golden brown.
Step 4: Serving and Garnishing
- Once the hens are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes.
- Transfer the hens to a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
- Serve the baked Cornish hens alongside your favorite side dishes, such as roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables.
- Enjoy this delectable and visually stunning dish with your family and friends!
Baking Cornish hens is a fantastic way to elevate your dining experience and impress your guests. With this simple recipe, you can create a delicious and visually appealing main course that will leave everyone asking for the recipe. Remember to serve the hens with your favorite sides to complete the meal. So, go ahead and give this recipe a try – you wont be disappointed!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. How long does it take to bake Cornish hens?
The baking time for Cornish hens typically ranges from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on their size. Its important to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked.
2. Can I use different seasonings for the hens?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste preferences. You can add herbs, spices, or even a marinade to enhance the flavor.
3. Are Cornish hens the same as regular chickens?
No, Cornish hens are smaller in size compared to regular chickens. They have a tender and succulent meat, making them perfect for individual servings.
4. Can I prepare the hens in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the hens ahead of time by seasoning them and refrigerating them until youre ready to bake. Just remember to remove them from the fridge and let them come to room temperature before baking.
5. How many servings does this recipe yield?
This recipe yields two Cornish hens, making it ideal for serving two to four people, depending on the portion size. Adjust the quantities accordingly if youre cooking for a larger group.