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Slow Cooker Cornish Hens: A Mouthwatering Feast with Minimal Effort

For those times when you crave a gourmet meal but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, Slow Cooker Cornish Hens come to the rescue. These little birds are perfect for a special dinner or a holiday feast, and the best part is that they practically cook themselves. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through creating an exquisite, stress-free meal that will impress your guests or make an ordinary day feel extraordinary. With minimal effort and maximum flavor, Slow Cooker Cornish Hens are a win-win.

Ingredients

To prepare Slow Cooker Cornish Hens, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish hens, approximately 1.5 to 2 pounds each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4-6 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. Prepare the Hens: Start by patting the Cornish hens dry with paper towels. This ensures they brown nicely in the slow cooker.

2. Season the Hens: In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Rub this seasoning mix all over the hens, inside and out.

3. Brown the Hens: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the hens on all sides until they develop a golden hue, which takes about 3-4 minutes per side.

4. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Place the quartered red potatoes, carrot chunks, chopped celery, sliced onion, lemon wedges, and minced garlic in the slow cooker. You can use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup if desired.

5. Set the Hens in the Slow Cooker: Position the browned Cornish hens on top of the vegetable mixture in the slow cooker. This allows the juices from the hens to flavor the veggies as they cook.

6. Slow Cooking: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the hens are thoroughly cooked and tender. The internal temperature should read 165°F (74°C) when measured in the thickest part of the thigh.

7. Serving Your Feast: Once the Slow Cooker Cornish Hens are done, carefully transfer them to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary for an appealing presentation. Serve the hens alongside the flavorful cooked vegetables.

Cooking Notes

  • Make sure to preheat your slow cooker as it helps the hens cook more evenly.
  • If the hens are too big for your slow cooker, you can halve them or choose smaller hens.

Variations

  • Enhance the flavor profile by adding a few cloves of crushed garlic, a quartered orange, or a splash of white wine to the slow cooker.
  • Experiment with different seasonings like smoked paprika, Herbes de Provence, or your favorite spice blends.

Keto Version For a keto-friendly version of Slow Cooker Cornish Hens, skip the potatoes and reduce the carrots to limit carb intake. Replace the high-carb vegetables with keto-friendly options like cauliflower, broccoli, or asparagus. The hens’ natural fats and seasonings will still provide delicious flavor, making this dish perfect for keto enthusiasts.

Low-Carb Version To create a low-carb Slow Cooker Cornish Hens meal, opt for fewer potatoes and carrots, and use cauliflower or zucchini as lower-carb substitutes. Reduce the number of lemon wedges to minimize carb content. With these adjustments, you can enjoy the hearty, comforting taste of this dish while adhering to a low-carb diet.

Slow Cooker Cornish Hens are the epitome of a gourmet meal made easy. This dish transforms a humble dinner into an extraordinary feast with minimal effort. Whether you’re preparing a special occasion dinner or simply want a delicious, fuss-free meal, Slow Cooker Cornish Hens are a culinary delight. The blend of succulent hens and savory vegetables will leave you and your guests savoring each bite.

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