Cornish Game Hens

Bourbon Glazed

For New Year’s Eve we tried to make this recipe but we planned poorly and the Cornish Game hens weren’t defrosted enough to make it. A few days later we had the opportunity to try.

Here is the recipe we used:

Cornish Game Hens with Bourbon Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

From: https://www.mygourmetconnection.com/recipes/main-courses/poultry/cornish-game-hens-bourbon-glaze.php

Ingredients

  • 6 Cornish game hens (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lbs each)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Position racks in the bottom of 2 medium-sized roasting pans and coat them both with nonstick spray.
  2. Season the cavity of each hen with salt and pepper and rub a tablespoon of softened butter liberally over the skin. Season the outside with salt and pepper and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  3. Arrange 3 hens, breast side up, in each roasting pan, being sure to leave some space between them. Add a little water to the bottom of each pan and roast the hens for 45 to 50 minutes (see notes), basting once with the pan juices and rotating the pans for even cooking.
  4. Note: Cornish game hens are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F.
  5. While the hens are roasting, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stir in the honey and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency, 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until the hens are finished roasting.
  6. Remove the hens from the oven and brush them with the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F and return them to the oven just long enough for glaze to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Remove and brush with any remaining glaze if desired.
  7. Allow the hens to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Makes 6 servings
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51435

The recipe was pretty easy to follow and didn’t have a ton of ingredients, so that’s nice. You more than likely have everything you need on hand to make it. I was glad I had frozen the hens awhile ago.

We only had two hens and so we adjusted the recipe accordingly.

While it was cooking, Michael made the glaze and I put Logan to bed. Michael said that he had a hard time getting the liquid to thicken up on the stove but I don’t know that that mattered much because the end product still tasted great.

They turned crispy perfectly! The flavor was really good, too. I liked the sweetness paired with the pepper and salt. The one downside is that they are kind of hard to eat!

It might have been easier to carve it up like a turkey beforehand. Oh well! It was messy but delicious. We had steamed broccoli on the side. There was enough leftover meat from the two for Michael to take leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

We both agreed that it was a nice change from the usual chicken thigh or breast that we have for dinner. But the downside is that it takes an hour to cook it. So clearly not the best choice on a busy work night when you don’t have tons of time (or on New Year’s Eve when they aren’t defrosted!).

Here are the two other recipes we’ve tried in the past with Cornish Game Hens:

Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens

Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Speaking of New Year’s…

I recently posted my goals for the new year. I’ve already started doing one of them! I wanted to declutter my house and I went through all the clothes I packed away when I got pregnant. I had 3 large vacuum-seal bags full of clothes. I donated 75% of them and narrowed it down to just one bag of clothes I wanted to keep. It felt good to donate so many things and clean the house at the same time. Some things were hard to part with but, really…I haven’t been a size 6 in about 3 years…

New Year’s Eve Dinner & Games

I feel like for most of 2014 Michael and I were reclusive. We didn’t plan a ton of friend events because we were both so overwhelmed with wedding planning and life stuff and every weekend we had free was dedicated to planning the wedding. I still saw my friends here and there but we just weren’t super social. I definitely missed that and once we got back from Hawaii I started planning stuff and actually saying yes to things we got invited to! It was nice to be social again. 🙂

In the past we’ve gone out to a nice dinner on New Year’s Eve but in the last few years we’ve decided to stay in and do our own thing. (I used to go out dancing for NYE with friends–my favorite thing was the Michael Jackson vs. Prince dance party at various clubs in town!) This year we decided to have a little dinner party with another couple and play board games.

For dinner we made Cornish Game Hens. I’ve done them before but it’s been awhile. I looked around for a recipe that sounded good (last time I did them I just used some butter, seasoning and herbs) and we got to cooking. I looked for a few different hen recipes and found this one that was great.

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I didn’t have a traditional roasting pan but thankfully Google solved that for me and I made a “roasting” tray in the Le Creuset pan with foil. This recipe was super easy to follow and it didn’t take too long. The hens we got didn’t have the giblets in them, so it was a lot easier to clean them.

Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-8 servings

From: http://www.daringgourmet.com/2014/03/24/roasted-cornish-game-hens-with-garlic-herb-and-lemon/

Ingredients

  • 4 Cornish game hens, patted dry with paper towels
  • 8 thin slices of butter
  • 4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary and thyme (or herbs of choice) plus some extra leaves of each
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed well and cut into quarters
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pat the hens dry with a paper towel. Use your index finger to loosen the skin on the top of the hen and slip a thin slice of butter under the skin on top of each breast. Add a few rosemary and thyme leaves (or herb of choice). Repeat for each hen. Put a quarter of a lemon in the cavity of each hen along with a clove of garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme (or herb of choice). Truss the hens by tying the wings and legs.
  3. Rub each hen all over with some extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place then hens on the rack of a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil, spacing them out so they are as far apart from each other as possible. This will enable their skins to get browned and crispy.
  4. Place the hens in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes.
  5. While the hens are roasting, combine the chicken broth and wine in a bowl.
  6. After the hens have been roasting for 35 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour the broth/wine mixture over the hens and continue to roast for 30 minutes, basting the hens with the juices at the bottom of the pan every 10 minutes or less. The hens are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. If you prefer darker skins, turn up the temperature to broil for a couple more minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.
  7. Carefully remove the hens and pour the juices from their cavities into the roasting pan. Transfer the hens to a warmed platter, remove the trussing string, and tent with aluminum foil to week warm. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes until the liquid is a thin sauce-like consistency. Serve the hens whole per guest or cut in half lengthwise and place cavity-down on each serving plate. Drizzle the sauce over the hens and garnish with fresh herb sprigs and a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=45077

I used fresh rosemary from the garden and lots of garlic. Some of the reviewers of the recipe said the minced garlic burned. I decided to use slivers instead of minced. I also used a lot more garlic than the recipe called for and honestly, I’d use more next time. I would also flip the birds over half way through so that they get crispy brown on both sides.

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Our friends arrived just as the birds were done. Michael cooked up some small red potatoes with onions, garlic and herbs. It went great with the chickens. I considered making a salad but it seemed liked a lot of food so I skipped it. Also, the hens looked really big but once you started eating them, it wasn’t as much food as it looks. The bulk of it was the bones and stuff.

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The meat was really juicy and mild in flavor. I’d use more garlic and a little more salt next time I make these. Everyone seemed to like the dinner, so I was happy! Our friends, Brian and Courtney, made flourless peanut butter cookies for dessert and they were delicious! I need to get that recipe.

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We got some new games for Christmas: Settlers of Cattan, Ticket to Ride, and Bunco. I was super excited to try them out. I ordered Ticket to Ride on Amazon and with Prime it should have arrived long before NYE but sadly, it did not. (I contacted Amazon and they were great about it, gave us an extra month of free Prime, but I was still disappointed the game didn’t arrive because that was the plan for the dinner party.) In the end, we ended up playing a card game instead, Spades, but it was super fun! I love that game and often play it on my phone when I’m watching TV.

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It was Brian and me against Michael and Courtney and when we called it a night our teams were tied! It was really fun.

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We had a white wine blend with dinner and I opened a small bottle of champagne (it was actually the other mini bottle of champagne that the hotel gave us on our wedding night–it took us that long to finally drink it). We didn’t make it til midnight to ring in the new year, which would have been nice but at the same time I was also happy to go to bed at a decent hour! Dang, we got old.

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It was a fun, easy going night and I love playing games so that was a great time, too. It also felt amazing to sleep in super late on New Year’s Day! Hope you had a great New Year!