What's with Cornish hens?

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georgevan

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
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432
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Appleton
its almost comical to see a small chicken. Anyone have any experience with Cornish hens. Does it taste like chicken? How do you prepare it?
 
I think they are a little richer and deeper in taste than chicken.

More often than not, I stuff them with a wild rice blend with chopped mushrooms and onion, pre cooked and cooled, and roast on a rack. If I want to get really fancy, I make a duxelle and use my fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat without tearing and slide some of the duxelle mix underneath the skin.

I start them breast side down, then flip over about halfway through.
 
I highly recommend the book "Cornish Hens Are Small Chickens and Do Taste Similar to Regular Chicken." It provides guidance on preparing Cornish hens in a variety of ways, including roasting, baking, and grilling. Cornish hens are a delicious and tender poultry dish that is often seasoned and cooked whole.
 
The taste is almost identical to chicken. You will be hard-pressed to notice a difference. So, just think of them as small, individual servings of chicken.

The easiest way to cook them is to roast them. Rub the inside and outside with salt & pepper. Maybe a little onion powder and garlic powder too, if you like. Brush them with olive oil. Put them in a shallow pan in a preheated oven, and roast until cooked through. Use a thermometer to tell when the thigh is at 165F. That's all there is to it.

How hot for the oven and how long to cook? It depends on what else you're cooking. There are a million answers. If you are baking a potato with it, and you want your oven at 400F, get the potato started first, then add the chicken after a bit (also depending on the size of the potato). At 400, the hen will cook in 45 minutes to 1 hour. At 350, it will take a little longer, maybe 60-75 minutes. Just use your thermometer. (Or, the old fashioned way is to make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the skin near the thigh joint and the leg wiggles freely when you grab the ankle and wiggle it.)

Once you know how to cook it, then you can experiment with stuffing it, spatchcocking it, putting things under the skin, etc. But the basic is just season it and roast it whole. It's sooooo good.
 
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The taste is almost identical to chicken. You will be hard-pressed to notice a difference. So, just think of them as small, individual servings of chicken.

The easiest way to cook them is to roast them. Rub the inside and outside with salt & pepper. Maybe a little onion powder and garlic powder too, if you like. Brush them with olive oil. Put them in a shallow pan in a preheated oven, and roast until cooked through. Use a thermometer to tell when the thigh is at 165F. That's all there is to it.

How hot for the oven and how long to cook? It depends on what else you're cooking. There are a million answers. If you are baking a potato with it, and you want your oven at 400F, get the potato started first, then add the chicken after a bit (also depending on the size of the potato). At 400, the hen will cook in 45 minutes to 1 hour. At 350, it will take a little longer, maybe 60-75 minutes. Just use your thermometer. (Or, the old fashioned way is to make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the skin near the thigh joint and the leg wiggles freely when you grab the ankle and wiggle it.)

Once you know how to cook it, then you can experiment with stuffing it, spatchcocking it, putting things under the skin, etc. But the basic is just season it and roast it whole. It's sooooo good.
Thanks I am definitely going to try it
 
I have one lonely little chicken in the freezer. When I got it I was looking for its companion which I never found. Now I think that particular store no longer carries them - so I guess I should stop looking there, yes?

Might put it in my baby slow-cooker.

Once did 4 in the Romertopff Clay roaster for a dinner with my gal pals. Great success!
 

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