I hadn’t eaten Cornish hens in several years, so, I picked up two. But for a change, I wanted to cook something different–not just roasting them. No particular recipe caught my eye in my cookbooks but eventually a familiar mix of ingredients popped up as I browsed the internet; and I soon realized I could expand on it adding other ingredients.
I pat dried the hens with paper towels, draining out any juices too. Then I rubbed two tablespoons of olive oil over them. I sprinkled them generously with salt and pepper, and added a mixture of dried herbs, like: thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, dill and paprika. I set the birds aside. I preheated the oven to 425 degrees.
I scoured my refrigerator for vegetables. I used up half head of green cabbage, still looking good. I cut everything up in fairly large pieces. I discarded the thick core of the cabbage, but still had plenty of leaves. I tossed the veggies together, and added 3 cloves of garlic, sliced. I added salt and pepper to the vegetables, plus a tablespoon of olive oil.
In a random manner, but evenly, I spread the vegetables in the pans’ bottom. I topped them with the Cornish hens. I put the uncovered pan in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. After 40 minutes I basted the hen with the accumulating juices and added two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I basted the hens once again. If I felt it was getting too brown, I covered it with aluminum foil.
I enjoy baked potatoes, and put one next to the pan once I rubbed it with olive oil and salt, when the cooking time remaining reached one hour. My husband made grits for himself; it’s his latest passion, a familiar dish he recalls from childhood. The Cornish hens tasted fall-off-the-bone tender. Naturally the juices from the hen dripped on the vegetables adding big flavor. I never had to remove the garlic; it just disintegrated leaving hints of garlic flavor. Jeff mixed the veggies with his grits and enjoyed the flavorful juices swimming in his smooth grits!
2 Cornish hens, 1 1/4 lb each