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Much like the roasted chickens that I’ve been making, I wanted to see how I could make a cornish game hen flavorful and moist without a lot of work.
Prep your kitchen:
- Chop your root vegetables into larger cubes as pictured above. You cook them with the chicken, so the size should be large enough that these don’t dry out in the oven.
- Set your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the roasting pan and the rack in the oven now, so it gets up to temperature.
- Wash your game hens. I don’t use the giblets inside, so you can discard them or feed them to your cat.
Prep the veggies:
- Once the veggies are chopped (takes the longest of anything you’ll do tonight), put them in a large mixing bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and another teaspoon of dill and salt. Add maybe half a tablespoon of ground black pepper.
- Stir this around until all the veggies are coated. If you need more seasoning, add it now.
- Let this sit while you get your chicken ready.
Prep the Chicken:
You’re going to be coating the chicken in a butter-dill mixture to create a crispy and flavorful skin. If you don’t want to use butter, just rub olive oil and a spice on the skin.
- Put a touch of minced garlic on first to give a little more flavor to this butter sauce. If you don’t have garlic, no worries, but this will make the flavors pop a bit more.
- Melt some butter in a pan on the stove top. I used 1 tablespoon per hen.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried dill to this. You could probably use fresh, but I only have dried.
You’re going to quickly slice a lime into a few sections and put them inside the game hen while the butter is melting. This is quick, and don’t over think this. Just do it now.
- Melt this down until it just starts to bubble, then remove from the heat.
- Brush onto your clean hens completely.
- Any leftover butter sauce pour into your veggie bowl and mix again.
By now the oven should be pre-heated to 425F.
Pour the veggie bowl in the roasting pan. You might have to CAREFULLY remove the hot rack before doing this.
Put the game hens on the rack, breast side up.
Cooking time is about an hour. If you have a thermometer, check the game hens regularly (every 20 minutes) to make sure they don’t get overcooked. The thermometer should read no lower than 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
That’s it! No carving necessary. Just pull them from the oven in about an hour. Your veggies are cooked, your chickens are cooked and you’re ready to eat!