This is a simple and elegant Cornish Hens recipe. It has full of flavor with the addition of lemons and thyme, along with the Allepo pepper giving it a spicy, but subtle kick. This recipe has minimal ingredients and can be cooked for a casual meal or can be made for a more elegant, formal meal just by adding a few more ingredients and side dishes. Due to their small size, one per person is what is estimated if you are wanting to serve this for a dinner party. What's great about this recipe is that you do not need to follow it as-is, unless you choose to. You can experiment with this dish by adding any type of spices you desire or which ever ones you already have on hand, which makes it a very flexible recipe to try out without spending a lot of extra money. I usually look for store deals on these and purchase a few, then freeze them for later use.
*This recipe does not require a specific number of ingredients. You can use as much or as little of the ingredients depending on taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and pat dry the cornish hens. With a culinary brush, brush some extra virgin olive oil all over the hens on both sides, including the wings and the cavity. You will then need to season both sides of the hens, including the cavity with salt and your chosen spice. For this recipe, I chose Allepo pepper, along with fresh Thyme. Grab a few sprigs of Thyme, few garlic cloves, along with a few slices of lemons and insert it into them into the cavity.
Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees. It takes the hens about 1 hour and 15 or 30 minutes to cook depending on size. You can check about an hour into the cooking, making sure the juices run clear to know when it is done. Once done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
Serve this dish along side quinoa. If you do not like quinoa, you can substitute rice or potatoes, as well as vegetables or a side salad.
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