this recipe was shared with Mary Lee Community by Kitchen Expert
If you are only ever going to really master a single recipe, let it be this one!
Much everyone on the planet goes crazy for a nice roasted chicken with garlic and rosemary, but you’re going to be able to elevate things even further by changing out those big fat roasters most grocery stores try and pedal and instead give everyone that you’re having over for dinner their own little Cornish game hen.
There are a lot of advantages to making the simple switch, not the least of which is that these little beauties cook up nice and quick – but that they also have a beautiful flavor that pairs perfectly with garlic and rosemary (and just a touch of lemon) to really set things apart.
Don’t be surprised if this becomes your signature dish!
- 4 Cornish Game Hens (as close to a pound each as you can get them)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Rosemary (the freshest stuff you can get your hands on, but dried works in a pinch)
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- 3 Medium sized cloves of garlic, minced up
- 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- The very first thing you will are going to want to do is unwrap the game Hens that you have purchased if they came pre-wrapped, set them on a baking sheet, and then put them on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator with nothing covering them.
- You’ll want to do this for anywhere between 12 hours and 24 hours, with the point here to dry out the skin of these tiny little chickens so that when you roast them up you get really nice and crispy skin instead of the flaccid stuff that so many people are used to.
- This is a game changer and will allow you to cook up some of the best tasting chicken you’ve ever had from here on out.
- Once that’s taken care of, you’ll want to snip out the backs of these chickens (running your kitchen shears down either side of the spine) so that you’re able to butterfly the chicken. This will make sure that the legs and the breasts finish cooking and just about the same time, guaranteeing that the meat is as juicy as it can be without anything drying out.
- Set these chickens aside and then combine your salt, your pepper, your lemon juice, your garlic, and your olive oil in a small bowl. Mix everything together with your fingers until everything is pretty evenly distributed, and then rub the mixture over the entirety of the chickens.
- Spread your freshly chopped rosemary all over your chicken and this point and then pop the Hens into an oven that has been preheated to 450°. Roast the chickens for about 25 minutes or so before decreasing the temperature to 350°, and then roast for about 25 minutes longer.
- If you want to be 100% certain that you aren’t ever overcooking (or under cooking) your Cornish game hens it’s a good idea to invest in a quality digital thermometer. You want the meat to head 160° when it is still in the oven as it will rise in temperature to about 165° or maybe 168° after it has had time to rest for about five minutes.
- All that’s left to do is to plate the bird and serve. Just don’t be surprised if your guests and up asking you for the recipe along with a plate of seconds!