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Rock Cornish Game Hens - How long to cook 'em?


crinoidgirl
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Of course they're just small chickens, and I trust Bittman, but does anyone actually have experience roasting them?

My thought was to do one per person tomorrow for Christmas dinner, four total. Practical suggestions will be welcome. Particularly amount of time per chickie.

Thanks!

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For my last cornish hen party, I used half of a one-pound hen per person. Mine were boneless halves, unstuffed, and they cooked in 20-30 min @ about 425. I left them uncovered in the fridge overnight, so the skin would be a little drier; just a piece of parchment over the dish so that nothing else in the fridge would fall into them. Nice crispy skin; juicy inside. Yum!

We're having cornish hen for Christmas dinner (20 of us).

Edited by KarenDW (log)

Karen Dar Woon

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I cook whole ones at 400 for about 45-60 minutes. The ones I use are 24-32 oz, on the plump side. But, like all things it's a matter of checking them to see when done.

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For my last cornish hen party, I used half of a one-pound hen per person. Mine were boneless halves, unstuffed, and they cooked in 20-30 min @ about 425. I left them uncovered in the fridge overnight, so the skin would be a little drier; just a piece of parchment over the dish so that nothing else in the fridge would fall into them. Nice crispy skin; juicy inside. Yum!

We're having cornish hen for Christmas dinner (20 of us).

I cook whole ones at 400 for about 45-60 minutes. The ones I use are 24-32 oz, on the plump side. But, like all things it's a matter of checking them to see when done.

Thank you, Pam and Karen. That's exactly what I need to know!

I'm doing it for Christmas dinner, too, but I've only ever grilled them. This is perfect!

Edited by crinoidgirl (log)

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  • 1 year later...

For Thanksgiving Day, I'm roasting some game hens using this recipe: Pancetta-Sage Turkey. It's basically a compound butter with herbs and pancetta, stuffed under the skin and roasted.

My plan is to make the compound butter (which has pancetta) the day before and stuff it under the skin; then refrigerate the hens until about 1/2 an hour before roasting the next day. Seems like this would allow the hens to absorb some flavor from the compound butter as well as make the Day-of go more smoothly.

I want to roast the hens, cut in half, atop a bunch of root vegetables e.g. carrots, fennel, onions, turnips, beets, etc.

Does anyone see potential problems? For example, ok to stuff compound butter ahead of time? Ok, to cut hens in half? Since the hens roast so quickly, do I need to start the veggies a little bit ahead of time? Or just remove hens once done to rest and continue roasting veggies as needed.

Thanks in advance.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I would get the veggies maybe half way done early just so I could control the final process since I don't think the hens need much of a rest. My concern is the stuffing process itself. The hens I usually get have pretty thin skins. Have you stuffed under the skin of a "practice hen"? I usually cut them down the back and lay flat for roasting. I feel I get more even cooking that way. Let us know how it goes for future reference.

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Shalmanese, do you spatchcock them?

FWIW, deep-frying a well-brined (and dried!) Cornish hen for 12-15 min at 375 produces quite respectable results.

There's two ways I like to do them now: Unspatchcocked, on a bed of potato wedges, 500F for ~40 minutes in a skillet. The chicken juices & fat are absorbed into the potatos for an ultra crispy chicken & wedges.

Spatchcocked, seared on both sides in a pan. 3 - 4 minutes on each side will result in a tender & juice bird.

PS: I am a guy.

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