My Grandma Lenni used to serve these on Chistmas Day at her house on Catalina Island, and I always felt so special having my very own bird! Could there be a prettier presentation than a beautifully roasted Cornish Game Hen on your plate? They have an impressive look but are very easy to prepare. You can pair them with anything, and they are so tender and juicy. So why wait for a holiday? It's a lovely treat after a particularly long Monday.
A Monday like the one I just had... oy vey! I needed an indulgent meal.
I chose to roast mine like I do most chicken. You can use whatever you have on hand for seasoning.. I just step into the garden and snip some random herbs.
So here's how it's done...
The hen has a small cavity, but it's still worth it to stuff it with something. This adds flavor from the inside, keeps it moist, and fills your kitchen with delicious aromatics!
2 Cornish game hens
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Lemon quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1. To make the marinade, combine parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic, half the lemon, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil.
2. Loosen the skin covering the breasts and rub half of the marinade under the skin. Rub the remaining
marinade over the surface of the hens. Place in a baking dish and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator (or at least 8 hours).It is best to let the chicken sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Season the outside of the game hens with salt and pepper. Stuff chopped garlic and extra lemon in the bird. Place in a shallow pan or roasting dish.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes (depends on the size of your hens), until an instant-read thermometer placed in the thigh reads 165 F, or until the juices run clear. Remove from the over and let rest 15 minutes before serving.