It’s so crazy to realize that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! But, it’s almost here and we have to get use to it. I’m ok with it because it only means Christmas is almost here! If you are thinking about changing things up for your holiday menu, my herb cornish hens with root vegetables are exactly what you’ve been looking for. They are easy, fast, and simple, yet they are incredibly delicious. You don’t want to miss out on this one. So let’s get started.
Why we love Cornish Game Hens:
One thing I absolutely love about Cornish hens is that they are so simple to season and you don’t need to over think or over complicate things. No need to brine, soak or marinate for hours. We are just going to use a simple and easy herb rub to turn these hens into masterpieces.
Another reason why I love this recipe so much is that the hens are spatchcocked or butterflied. No this isn’t just for presentation purchases. Spatchcocking allows for shorter cooking time. What is spatchcocking you ask? Spatchcocking or butterflying the bird is when you remove the backbone of the bird and open it up like the wings of a butterfly (like what I did there huh)?. Ok, maybe that wasn’t as good as I thought it would be so let’s move on.
The benefits of spatchcocking your bird are endless. Faster cooking time, you are able to add seasoning to the inner parts of the bird, it makes for a beautiful presentation, the bird comes out crispy yet tender and well seasoned. Overall, it’s just the best way to cook any bird. Whether it’s a turkey, chicken or hen. Trust me, you will never want to cook your bird any other way.
Oh did I forget to mention you can save the backbone of the bird and use it in soups, stocks, and broth? Yet that’s another benefit of spatchcocking your bird. Nothing goes to waste. Simply save the backbone on a freezer friendly ziplock bag. And when you are making broth, stock or soup, whip out the bag and add the backbone to your soup for extra flavor. It doesn’t get any better than that people.
Herb Cornish Hens w/ Root Vegetables
WHOLE30 II PALEO
So, without further ado, let’s jump into the recipe.
For more Inspiration, check out our other Thanksgiving recipes:Print
Cornish hens rubbed with a lemon garlic marinade and roasted with root vegetables.
2 Cornish hens, about 1.5 lbs each
2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1 bunch whole carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 tbsp melted grass-fed ghee
cracked black pepper
For the Gravy:
1 tsp arrowroot starch
1 cup bone broth
plastic cutting board
To begin, preheat the oven to 425˚F.
First, spatchcock the Cornish hens. Lay the hens on a plastic cutting board breast side down. Now, starting at the tail end of the hen, use kitchen shears to cut along each side of the spine to remove the backbone. Save the backbone for stock or broth. Flip the hens over, tuck the wings under the breast bone and gently flatten the hen with your palm.
Now, mix the rosemary, lemon zest, garlic and salt in a small bowl and rub the mixture all over the hens, making sure you get the herb mixture under the kin and under the wings and legs.
Now, scatter the carrots and onion onto a large sheet pan. Transfer the hens to the sheet pan and nestle them between the carrots and onion. Brush the hens and vegetables with the melted ghee and finish with a few pinches of black pepper. Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes or until the hens are cooked through and golden brown. An instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should read between 165˚F-170˚F. Transfer the hens and vegetables to a serving platter and set them aside to rest.
While the hens rest, transfer the drippings from the Cornish hens to a sauce pan and bring it to a slow simmer. Add the arrowroot starch to the pan, stir and cook for about a minute. Now, while continuously whisking, slowly add the broth to the pan. Continue to simmer the gravy until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
Slice the hens and serve with the vegetables, gravy and cauliflower mash.
Keywords: Roasted Cornish hens, Cornish hens with root vegetables