Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Are you still trying to figure out what you’re going to make for the holidays? Are you trying to impress a date? Are you just hungry?

Well look no further friends, and make these cornish game hens. 

They’re about $3 a piece at the Asian market near my house, and you can half or quarter them, or be generous and serve one hen per person.

Just a quick marinade and some basting, and you’re ready to look like a professional chef!

You will need:

  • 6 cornish game hens, defrosted
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

First make sure your hens are defrosted. Leave them in your fridge for at least two days for a proper defrost. Please don’t defrost them on your counter at room temperature, you are asking for a bacteria party that way.

Rinse the hens under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the olive oil, grated or finely minced garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, lemon pepper, and the juice of 1 lemon in a bowl. You could definitely use butter instead of oil and it would make your hens much tastier, because that’s what butter does. But I’m trying to get my sexy back, so olive oil it is. Whisk together and use a pastry brush to liberally season your hens.You’ll notice in that photo there are two bowls. I was going to use half of the marinade for … well, marinating, and half for basting, but then I realized there was fresh garlic in it so basting with it wouldn’t make much sense.


Prepare a roasting pan with a rack, and put your hens breast side up on the rack. 
Anyone else immediately think of “cornish hen centipede”? No? Just me? Okay.

Place the hens in your preheated oven for about an hour – an hour and a half. It all depends on how big your hens are and how often you baste them. Speaking of: baste your hens! You can use the fat that drips out of the chickens or have a small bowl of olive oil on hand. Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to make sure your chickens are cooked all the way, or look to see if the juices are running clear.

Remove the hens and cover with a tent foil for 10 minutes so they can rest. Then you’re ready to serve! 
 And don’t forget to reward your pup for being extra patient while you cooked all that meat in front of her!  

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