Roasted Cornish Hens – Rotisserie Style

 roasted chicken

Rotisserie chicken is popular with my family but unfortunately none of us own a rotisserie. I settle for the second best – roasted chicken. There is nothing difficult with roasting a chicken – put some spices on it and stick it into the oven. The trick however is to roast it in a way that would allow for the meat to remain tender and juicy. I have heard of many different methods, but here I want to share with you my personal favorite. It is very simple to make and does not require too much time. One day before I plan on roasting the chickens (usually late at night) I apply a spice rub to chickens and leave in refrigerator to marinate overnight. Next day for dinner almost no work is required at all – put in the oven and 1 hour later delicious dinner is ready.

My method to keeping the chicken moist is to cook it  in a roasting pan with bottom filled with water. As water evaporates it keeps the chicken from drying up. Just make sure not to submerge the chickens or they will come out boiled.

What you will need:

  • 2 medium size Cornish Hens
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • a few sprigs of fresh or dry rosemary and/or oregano
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

cornish hens ingredients

Peel garlic cloves and either mince or press.

pressed garlic

Add salt

adding salt

Add dry herbs: oregano and parsley. Can also substitute with Italian spice mix but check if it already contains salt or you may end up with very salty chicken.

oregano

Add paprika

paprika

Add ground pepper

ground pepper

Mix all with a fork until well combined

mixed rub

Split in 2 halves (one for each Cornish hen) so you know how much rub to use on each.

split in 2

Rinse each Cornish hen with cold water. Make sure to empty the cavity. Sometimes inside the cavity (aka hen’s belly) you can find a small plastic bag of giblets – make sure to remove it. Rinse the cavity with water. If you do like the giblets you can add them back inside once all is cleaned but without the plastic bag. 

rinse the hens  

 Pat dry each hen with paper towels or the rub will not stick well.pat dry

Rub the Cornish hens with the garlic and spice mix on the outside and just slightly on the inside.

rub the hens

Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.

close tight

 

On the following day prepare a few sprigs of rosemary and oregano. Fresh or dry can be used here.

fresh herbs

Fill your roasting pan with cold water to cover the bottom about 1/4 ” but not touching the rack. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and a few sprigs of herbs.

roasting pan

Place your chicken on the rack and into the pre-heated oven at 400F for approximately 1 hr. Cooking time may vary by altitude, oven type and size of chicken so check on your chicken after about 40 min to see how things are going. In my oven 2 Cornish hens take 1 hr.

hen

Chicken is ready when internal temperature reads 170-180 F. Keep in mind the temperature will come up another 10F as the meat rests.

roasted

Serve with your favorite sides. Good combinations are light vegetable salad, fresh or steamed veggies, rice or potatoes. 

roasted cornish hen

 

 Buon Appetit! 

 

Roasted Cornish Hens – Rotisserie Style
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium size Cornish Hens
  2. 5-6 garlic cloves
  3. 1 tsp dry oregano
  4. 1 tsp dry parsley
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  7. 1 tsp paprika
  8. a few sprigs of fresh or dry rosemary and/or oregano
  9. 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare spice rub by combining minced garlic, salt, dry oregano, dry parsley, paprika, and ground pepper.
  2. Rinse each Cornish hen with cold water. Make sure to empty the cavity. Sometimes inside the cavity (aka hen’s belly) you can find a small plastic bag of giblets – make sure to remove it. Rinse the cavity with water. If you do like the giblets you can add them back inside once all is cleaned but without the plastic bag.
  3. Pat dry each hen with paper towels or the rub will not stick well.
  4. Rub the Cornish hens with the garlic and spice mix on the outside and just slightly on the inside.
  5. Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
  6. On the following day prepare a few sprigs of rosemary and oregano. Fresh or dry can be used here.
  7. Fill your roasting pan with cold water to cover the bottom about 1/4 ” but not touching the rack. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and a few sprigs of herbs.
  8. Place your chicken on the rack and into the pre-heated oven at 400F for approximately 1 hr. Cooking time may vary by altitude, oven type and size of chicken so check on your chicken after about 40 min to see how things are going. In my oven 2 Cornish hens take 1 hr.
  9. Chicken is ready when internal temperature reads 170-180 F. Keep in mind the temperature will come up another 10F as the meat rests.
  10. Serve with your favorite sides. Good combinations are light vegetable salad, fresh or steamed veggies, rice or potatoes.
  11. Buon Appetit!
Cooking and Mixing http://www.cookingandmixing.com/
 

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