Cornish hen is a variety of broiler chicken produced from a cross between a Cornish hen and a White Plymouth Rock hen. The name is actually incorrect because there are both males and females. They weigh approximately 2 to 2.5 pounds, are slaughtered between four and six weeks of age and are known for their tender meat, which absorbs spices and marinades easily.
Roasted Cornish Game Hens
This is one of my favorite dishes to make, and when I saw this on the Food & Wine website, it gave me the idea to do a column. John Somerall is a chef, recipe tester and developer in Alabama. I made a few changes for the recipe to be kosher.
- 5 medium lemons
- ¼ cup chopped rosemary plus 10 4-inch sprigs
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme plus 10 40-inch sprigs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 20 smashed garlic cloves
- 2 Cornish hens
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons pareve margarine
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease a roasting pan.
2. Squeeze 1 lemon to 2 tablespoons of juice, then cut lemon in 6 wedges, and cut 3 lemons in half crosswise.
3. Place lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves in a food processor. Process 2 minutes until garlic is finely chopped. Rub over and inside Cornish hens. Fill the insides of each with half of garlic mixture and 3 lemon wedges. Truss legs together and wings to breasts.
4. Arrange rosemary and thyme sprigs in a roasting pan. Place hens on top.
5. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 25 minutes.
6. Remove foil, add broth and roast for 25-35 minutes.
7. Pour garlic-herb-lemons into a saucepan with hen juices. Add margarine, season with salt.
To serve, cut each hen in half lengthwise, serve with roasted lemon halves and sauce.
Cornish Hens a l’Orange
This is my recipe with no source, but by the looks of it, I used to make it often.
- 2 Cornish hens, sliced in half lengthwise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces long grain wild rice
- 3 ounces mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon shredded orange peel
- 3 tablespoons julienne strips orange peel
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- 2 teaspoons brandy
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a roasting pan.
2. Combine rice, mushrooms, ½ teaspoon shredded peel. Place in two mounds on a roasting pan. Place hens, cut side down over stuffing and roast for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine orange peel, covered in water for 15 minutes, then drain.
4. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch with 6 tablespoons of water, shredded orange peel, orange juice and bouillon granules in a saucepan. Cook until thick. Stir in orange strips and brandy.
5. Transfer hens and stuffing to a platter and spoon over sauce.
Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem-based journalist, author and compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks. She is a food writer for North American Jewish publications, and she leads walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English.