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Easy Cornish Hens: Elegant, Simple, and Perfectly Delicious

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If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your dinner table without spending hours in the kitchen, Easy Cornish Hens are your answer. These petite poultry delights are a delightful alternative to traditional chicken or turkey, and they make any meal feel special. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through creating a simple yet stunning dish that’s perfect for a romantic dinner, a small gathering, or even a weeknight treat. With minimal effort and maximum flavor, Easy Cornish Hens will become a regular star at your table.

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Ingredients

To make Easy Cornish Hens, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish hens (approximately 1.5 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme) for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Prepare the Cornish Hens: Ensure the Cornish hens are fully thawed and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps them brown nicely during cooking.

3. Season the Hens: In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper.

4. Brush with Olive Oil: Brush each Cornish hen with olive oil, making sure to coat them evenly.

5. Season the Hens: Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the hens, both inside and out. You can use your fingers to gently rub the seasoning into the skin.

6. Stuff with Lemon Wedges: Place lemon wedges inside the cavities of the hens. These will infuse the birds with a subtle citrus flavor as they roast.

7. Truss the Hens: Trussing the hens ensures even cooking. To do this, cross the legs and tie them together using kitchen twine.

8. Arrange in a Roasting Pan: Place the seasoned and trussed Cornish hens in a roasting pan, breast side up. This ensures a lovely presentation.

9. Roast the Hens: Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. The skin should be golden brown and crispy.

10. Rest and Serve: Once done, remove the hens from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute within the hens, ensuring they stay tender and juicy. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Cooking Notes 

  • You can customize the seasoning with your favorite herbs and spices, such as paprika, thyme, or oregano.
  • Trussing the hens not only ensures even cooking but also gives them an elegant appearance.

Variations 

  • Experiment with different seasonings like Cajun, Mediterranean, or Asian-inspired blends for unique flavor profiles.
  • Add a stuffing of wild rice, dried fruits, or nuts to the cavity for an extra layer of texture and taste.

Keto Version  For a keto-friendly twist, simply omit the lemon wedges. The rest of the recipe is naturally keto-friendly, with the Cornish hens offering a protein-rich, low-carb option. This dish is perfect for those following a keto diet, as it delivers delicious flavor without the excess carbs.

Low-Carb Version To create a low-carb version, maintain the recipe as is, as it’s naturally low in carbs. The hens themselves are inherently low-carb, and the seasoning blend doesn’t introduce additional carbs. This dish is ideal for those looking to minimize their carb intake without compromising on flavor.

Easy Cornish Hens offer a simple yet elegant way to elevate your dining experience. With a flavorful blend of herbs and spices, these hens are the perfect canvas for a delicious meal. Whether you’re enjoying a cozy dinner for two or a small gathering with friends, this dish will impress with its taste and presentation. Enjoy a delightful and stress-free dining experience with Easy Cornish Hens.

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