Honey-Garlic Baked Cornish Hens

I had planned to make an elaborate dish with Cornish hens – something with fruit – but the weather has turned unseemly hot for mid September, and I wasn’t in the mood.  So I opted for a simple, baked preparation.

Usually, I recommend removing the skin from the hens before cooking, but baking them without skin (and not swimming in a sauce) might make them dry.  The problem is that if you season poultry and bake it with the skin on, then when you remove the skin you remove all the tasty seasonings.  A good way to keep the seasonings on the poultry where you can taste them is to lift the skin, and rub the herbs and spices on the chicken or hen under the skin. When you bake it, the spices flavor the meat, and the bird stays moist.

Honey-Garlic Baked Cornish Hen

2 Cornish Hens, halved and all visible fat removed
2 Tablespoons honey    ‘
1 teaspoon hot water
2 cloves of garlic, minced (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon dried chervil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the honey, hot water, garlic, chervil, and sea salt in a small bowl and set aside. Note: this could easily have used 4 cloves of garlic, but I planned to take it for lunch after the first evening, and the people I work with might not appreciate fragrant food.

Remove the wing tips from the hens and discard – this makes it easier to take the skin off after the hens cook. Using your fingers (I find my thumb works well), lift the skin of the birds from the the middle of the leg to the wings, being careful not to tear the skin.  Carefully rub 1/4 of the honey-garlic mixture under the skin of each halved bird, covering the bird as completely as possible.  Smooth the skin over the hens, place them on a baking pan, and bake for 45 minutes.

Yes, the hens look lovely when they come out of the oven with their browned skins.  But don’t be tempted to eat them this way.  A half hen without skin has 4 grams of fat; a half hen with skin has 23 grams of fat.

Take the hens out of the oven and remove the skin with tongs and/or a fork.  It should come off quite easily, since you have already separated it from the bird.

It’s not as photogenic as the browned hens, but it is very good.  If I was serving it for company, I would garnish it with some sort of sauce, so it wouldn’t look like a naked bird.

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ABOUT KAREN

I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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