I had never heard of cornish game hens before my mom cooked them for me at some holiday, when she made everyone else prime rib (I don’t eat beef). I realized these little birds are very tender and tasty! So when I saw them at Whole Foods, I scooped up two for my own. When I got home, I realized – what am I going to do with these? I searched the internet for HOURS (ok, maybe like 20 minutes) looking for the perfect recipe. I eventually found this one which looked delicious, and decided to try it. Of course, like I do, I did adapt/edit a little based on only two hens and my personal preferences. How I made it below.
2 cornish game hens
1/2 lemon, sliced into wedges
1/2 onion, coursely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried mustard
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp mignonette pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a small bowl, mix the spices together and rub each bird with mixture.
3. Arrange birds breast side down in a roaster pan on the roasting tray. Stuff the cavity of each hen with 1/2 of the lemon wedge, 1/2 the onions and a clove of garlic.
4. Roast in oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Check the bird at around 30 minutes and if dark, cover with aluminum foil.
5. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
I found that the birds were getting a little dark, so I covered with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. My oven isn’t the greatest though, so it could just be mine. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they are cooking without becoming too dark.
I also had a TON of the spice rub left over, so I halved what I originally made above so that you will not have a ton left. The original recipe called for making a paste, but I found I was able to just rub it in, sprinkle it on and set on the roasting pan and not make a paste.
Overall, these were GOOD. The spice mixture was super flavorful and the lemon in the bird gave it a really nice freshness to it. The meat was very tender as well. Both my boyfriend and I loved them!