Roasted Cornish Hens with Lemon and Herbs
Total time: 65 minutes
Small, perfectly roasted hens make an elegant presentation and are perfect individual servings (with maybe a snack leftover). Lemon and herbs under the skin infuse lots of flavors.
- 2 Cornish game hens or poussin (little chickens)
- 1 tbs fresh thyme substitute 2 tsp dried
- 1 tbs fresh rosemary substitute 1 tbs dried
- 3 tbs lemon
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) white wine
- Wash hens and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mix 1 tbs oil with 1 tbs lemon juice and the herbs.
- Gently loosen the skin on the hens. Divide half of the herb mixture and put under the skin.
- Tie legs close and bend wings around and under the back - so it looks like they are lying there with their arms akimbo. It keeps them from flapping and gives the hen something to rest on. Lay them on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
- Add remaining 2 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs olive, salt to the remaining half of the herb mixture.
- Spread half on hens.
- Put hens into 400F (200C) oven. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes.
- Combine wine with remaining herb / oil mixture and use as a
basting sauce. Baste every 15 minutes with sauce and pan juices until done. Poultry is done with an internal temperature of 165F (74C). I recommend a meat thermometer
- Remove hens, cover with foil to keep warm and let rest 5 - 10 minutes for the juices to sink back into the meat. Resting is important to keep any meat from being dry.