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I wanted to give you at least one recipe with last week’s homemade seasoning salt in action so here is a delicious (and very cute) Cornish game hen. The salt gives it a great, multi-layered flavor and the whole thing is very easy to make.
How to roast a Cornish game hen:
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a Cornish game hen anyhow? Well, the bottom line is that a Cornish game hen is simply a small chicken. The USDA has specific age and weight requirements as to what can be called a Cornish game hen but simply put that’s all it is, a small chicken.
The words “game” and “hen” have no actual meaning here because Cornish game hens are not game birds and they can be either gender.
What about the “Cornish,” you ask? Well, apparently most chickens that are bred in the U.S. today have some type of Cornish root, so therefore nearly all chickens you find here are indeed Cornish. Who knew? Not me, I had to look it up. :)
Anyhow, so how do you roast a Cornish game hen? My answer is, pretty much the same way you roast any chicken, just for less long.
You start by patting the bird dry with paper towels. This is a really important step, you want to be thorough here, because only dry skin will get nice and crispy in the oven.
Next you brush vegetable oil on the dry bird and then sprinkle it with seasoning salt and set it into a cast iron pan. You cut up a bit of carrot and onion, snuggle them up next to the bird in the pan, drizzle oil and seasoning salt on and in the oven they all go. The Cornish game hen is ready when its internal temperature measures 165 degrees F.
You can eat the Cornish game hen and the vegetables by themselves, they make a complete meal but if you want to add a side dish, I recommend a simple green salad.
Love roasted chicken? Check out this Roasted Orange Chicken with Creamy Mustard Seed Sauce:
Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Homemade Seasoning Salt
- 2 cornish game hens
- 5 large carrots, cut into 3-inch chunks
- 6 small onions, peeled and quartered
- a little bit of vegetable oil
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grind all seasoning salt ingredients in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine salt. Set aside.
- Rinse the Cornish game hens briefly with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels (make sure to get them really dry otherwise the skin will not get crispy).
- Brush vegetable oil onto the birds and generously sprinkle them with the seasoning salt all over.
- Place the hens and the vegetables into one large or two small cast iron pans. Drizzle a little bit of oil and seasoning salt over the vegetables.
- Put the pans in the oven and roast until the thickest part of the thigh meat registers 165 degrees F. (About one hour).
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