Chicken, Holiday

Smokin’ Oven Roasted Cornish Hens Recipe

Hey, fam! AB here from Smokin’ and Grillin wit AB, and today we’re diving into a culinary adventure that’s all about maximizing flavor and impressing your taste buds. Get ready for the Smokin’ Oven Roasted Cornish Hens Extravaganza! Picture this: succulent Cornish hens, rubbed with a symphony of spices, roasting to perfection atop a bed of herb-infused veggies. It’s not just a dish; it’s a flavor explosion that’ll have your guests begging for the recipe. So, let’s fire up those ovens and bring the house down with this showstopper!

Now, why should you dive into the world of Smokin’ Oven Roasted Cornish Hens? Well, my friends, we’re talking about a dish that elevates any occasion. These hens are the epitome of succulence, each bite bursting with the smoky charm and herbaceous goodness that makes every meal memorable. It’s a feast for the senses and a celebration on your plate. So, whether you’re hosting a gathering or just want to treat yourself to a culinary masterpiece, this recipe is your ticket to flavor paradise.

Ingredients:

For the Cornish Hens:

  • 2-3 Cornish hens
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Bacon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic olive oil

For the Bed of Veggies:

  • 2 lbs Potatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures the hens cook evenly and develop that perfect crispiness.

2. Prepare the Cornish Hens:

  • Begin with the Cornish hens. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This step ensures a clean and even application of our flavor-packed rub.
  • In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, Bacon Sea Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed thyme, crushed oregano, paprika, and black pepper. This blend is your ticket to flavor town.
  • Rub each Cornish hen with the Garlic olive oil, making sure they are well-coated. This not only adds flavor but helps achieve that crispy skin we all love.
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over each hen, rubbing it into the skin for maximum flavor absorption. Don’t be shy; we’re building layers of taste here.

3. Prepare the Bed of Veggies:

  • Now, let’s talk about the supporting cast – the bed of veggies. In a large mixing bowl, toss the quartered potatoes, onion, and chopped carrots with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste. This will ensure they are not just a bed for the hens but also a delicious side dish.
  • Spread the seasoned vegetables on a large roasting pan, creating a cozy bed for our Cornish stars.
  • To add an extra layer of aromatic bliss, place fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs over the vegetables. This will infuse them with herbaceous goodness as they roast.

4. Arrange in the Roasting Pan:

  • With our seasoned hens and herb-infused veggies ready, it’s time to arrange them in the roasting pan. Place the hens on top of the bed of veggies, ensuring they are evenly spaced.

5. Roast in the Oven:

  • Now, the magic happens. Pop the roasting pan into the preheated oven and let the hens roast for approximately 60-75 minutes. This timeframe ensures the hens are cooked to perfection, with crispy skin and juicy meat.
  • For an extra boost of moisture and flavor, baste the hens with the pan juices halfway through the cooking time. This step is crucial for achieving that mouthwatering succulence.

6. Check for Doneness:

  • To make sure our Cornish hens are ready to shine, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The temperature should read a safe 165°F (74°C).

7. Let it Rest:

  • Once our hens are done, resist the temptation to dive right in. Allow them to rest for a good 10 minutes. This step ensures that the juices redistribute throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.

8. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Finally, it’s time to serve up this culinary masterpiece. Arrange the perfectly roasted Cornish hens on a platter over the bed of herb-roasted vegetables. For an extra touch of decadence, spoon some of those pan juices over the hens.

Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • Cheese Choice: Opt for high-quality sharp cheddar for an intense flavor kick.
  • Smokin’ Tip: Add a pinch of smoked paprika for an extra layer of smokiness.
  • Texture Twist: Leave some broccoli florets whole for a satisfying texture.

Variations:

  1. Bacon Bliss: Top with crispy bacon bits for a savory twist.
  2. Spicy Kick: Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy upgrade.
  3. Potato Power: Toss in diced potatoes for a heartier version.
  4. Broccoli and Cauliflower Duo: Mix in cauliflower for a dynamic veggie blend.
  5. Turmeric Touch: Enhance color and health benefits with a pinch of turmeric.
  6. Herb Infusion: Stir in fresh thyme or rosemary for an herbal infusion.
  7. Loaded Ladle: Garnish with sour cream, chives, and extra cheese.
  8. Sausage Supreme: Introduce smoked sausage slices for a meaty option.
  9. Curry Creation: Infuse with curry powder for a twist.
  10. Pumpkin Perfection: Add a hint of pumpkin puree for autumnal vibes.

What to Serve It With:

  1. Garlic Breadsticks
  2. Crusty Artisan Bread
  3. Parmesan Herb Crackers
  4. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  5. Caesar Salad
  6. Cheese and Charcuterie Board
  7. Buttermilk Biscuits
  8. Toasted Baguette Slices
  9. Rosemary Focaccia
  10. Pretzel Bites

Recipe Card

Oven Roasted Cornish Hens

4.8 from 2 votes

Ingredients

For the Cornish Hens:

For the Bed of Veggies:

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Rinse the Cornish hens under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, Bacon Sea Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika, and black pepper.
    Rub each Cornish hen with the Garlic olive oil, ensuring they are well-coated. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over each hen, rubbing it into the skin for maximum flavor.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the quartered potatoes, onion, and chopped carrots with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the seasoned vegetables on a large roasting pan, creating a bed for the Cornish hens. Place fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs over the vegetables for added herbaceous aroma.

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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