Thursday, February 25, 2010

30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30: Cornish Game Hens with Celery, Carrots, and Potatoes

This may well be the best meal of my (thus far) abbreviated cooking career. I enjoyed making these cornish hens and enjoyed eating them even more than any other dish I've created to date. I had a preconceived notion that cornish game hens were going to be extremely challenging to prepare. I was wrong! All you do with them in this recipe is brush them with a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, spices, and fresh herbs and let them roast to perfection. The roasted vegetables are so savory and a great accompaniment to the hens. I love how impressive and easy this cornish hen recipe is. 

Cornish Game Hens with Celery, Carrots, and Potatoes
Adapted from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
The juice of a whole lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
8 ounces small potatoes, quartered
2 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound Cornish game hens
In a large bowl combine lemon juice, garlic, oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add in celery, carrots, and potatoes and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to another bowl, reserving the garlic mixture.
Brush hens with some of the reserved garlic mixture. (I put the hens right in the bowl so they soaked up the leftover herbs and garlic too). Arrange hens in a roasting pan. Twist wing tips under the backs. Arrange vegetables in the pan. Drizzle the hens and vegetables with remaining garlic mixture. 
Place the roasting pan in the middle rack of the oven. Roast uncovered at 450 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the meat thermometer inserted into the thigh of each hen registers 180 degrees.  **I ended up moving the vegetables to a separate pan to get them really roasted, and speed up the process!
To serve carefully cut hens in half lengthwise. Remove vegetables from pan with slotted spoon. 


  1. They do look very impressive and tasty. I would have guessed they would be hard to make. You are so ambitious!



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