If you’re looking for a dish that’s both elegant and delicious, herb roasted Cornish game hens are the perfect choice. These small birds are incredibly flavorful and juicy when cooked properly, and they make an impressive presentation for dinner parties or special occasions. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Cornish game hens and how to prepare them with herbs for a mouth-watering meal.
What are Cornish Game Hens?
Cornish game hens are a type of chicken that is bred specifically for its small size. They typically weigh about 1-2 pounds each, making them perfect for individual servings. Despite their name, Cornish game hens are not actually game birds; they are simply a small variety of chicken. However, their meat is much more tender and flavorful than that of a typical chicken, making them a popular choice for gourmet meals.
Choosing Your Hens
When choosing your Cornish game hens, look for birds that are plump and meaty with a healthy pink color. Avoid any birds that appear dry or discolored, as they may be past their prime. If possible, choose hens that have been raised without antibiotics or hormones for a healthier and more flavorful meal.
Preparing the Hens
Before you can roast your Cornish game hens, you’ll need to prepare them properly. Begin by removing the giblets from the cavities and discarding them. Rinse the hens inside and out with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the cavities with salt and pepper, and then stuff them with fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or sage. Truss the hens by tying their legs together with kitchen twine to help them cook evenly.
Roasting the Hens
Preheat your oven to 375┬░F. Rub the outside of the hens with olive oil or butter and season them with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs you like. Place the hens in a roasting pan breast side up and roast them for about 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165┬░F. Baste the hens with pan juices every 15 minutes to keep them moist and flavorful.
Serving Your Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Once your hens are cooked, let them rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Serve them with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple salad. The fresh herbs inside the cavities will infuse the meat with flavor and create a delicious aroma that will tantalize your taste buds.
Variations on Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
While the basic recipe for herb roasted Cornish game hens is delicious on its own, there are many variations you can try to add even more flavor to this dish. For example, you can add garlic or lemon zest to the herb stuffing inside the cavities, or you can use a different herb blend such as tarragon, oregano, or basil. You can also experiment with different spices or marinades to give your hens a unique flavor profile.
Herb roasted Cornish game hens are a wonderful choice for anyone who wants to impress their guests with a delicious and elegant meal. By following these simple steps, you can prepare a mouth-watering dish that will delight your taste buds and create a beautiful presentation. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire. So why not give it a try and see how delicious Cornish game hens can be?