Cornish Hen

I had never made a Cornish hen before in my life, but darn it, I love them. Imagine my surprise when on my first day back from Brussels Fresh Direct delivered two lovely heritage Cornish hens to my home (thanks Antonio).

I did a little online research. Many recipes kept coming up with Sauternes or Late Harvest wines, but I was not too keen on that, so I decided to do a variation on my roasted chicken. It came out better than I could have expected.

The best part: one Cornish hen was a perfect meal for two. I say go and get yourself a Cornish hen and try this recipe out. It's super easy and delicious. Here's how to do it:


2 Cornish hens
1 3.5 Qt. round French oven with lid
1 container of chicken stock
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 bags of your favorite black tea
1/2 onion (chopped into 1/4)
1/2 lemon (chopped into 1/4)
Kosher salt
Herb infused oil (I make my own and keep it in the kitchen, but regular olive oil will work)
10 Brussel Sprouts (you can use more of course)

How To:

Preheat your oven to 500 F.
Take the Cornish Hen out of the package and pat dry with paper towels.
If there's stuff in the cavities, take it out.
Boil some water (enough for a large mixing bowl).
Put the boiling water in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 3 tea bags (I like black tea, but you can use whatever flavor you like)
Stir the tea mix to make a brine.
Let it sit for 5 minutes to steep, then add ice to cool.
Once the brine is cool, add your Cornish hens, let them brine in the mixture in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Take out the Cornish hens and pat dry,
Rub them with the herb infused olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fill the cavities with the lemon and onions.
Handcuff your chicken (tie the legs together with cooking twine).
Put your hens in the Dutch oven, cover, and cook for 20 minutes
In the mean time, coat the Brussel sprouts with your herbed olive oil.
When 20 minutes hit, uncover the Dutch oven, add the Brussel sprouts and cook uncovered for 30 minutes (all ovens are a bit different, this works perfectly for me).
You can cut into the leg of the hen to see if it is ready. If not, pop it in for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy, I know I did.

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Blanca Valbuena

I am the co-founder of FriendsEat and Socialdraft. I've got an unhealthy obsession with Burgundian Chardonnay, ASOIAF, and travel.

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