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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Friday, September 7, 2012

Roasted Cornish Hens with Fennel

I love chicken but we eat a lot of it.  Sometimes it's nice to have something a little different.  These Cornish game hens are like a having little mini chicken each, so you might feel like a giant while you eat it, which is always fun.  

I love fennel.  It has a very slight liquorice flavour but when it is roasted it becomes deliciously sweet.  I'm also going to roast some Brussels sprouts in a separate pan and steam some yellow beans for a very veggie dinner.

Slice the green tops off the fennel. Save them - I'll tell you why in a minute. 

Then core and slice the fennel bulb.

Place the Cornish hens on top of the sliced fennel in a baking dish and rub the birds all over with a little oil, salt and pepper.  I also sprinkled on a little rosemary and paprika.  Now take those fennel tops you saved and shove a couple inside each Cornish hen with some salt and pepper. 

Turn the hens breast side down and tuck the wings under. I would always read that in recipes and not know what it meant.  Above is what tucked wings look like. It lets the bird cook more evenly without burning the wing tips.

Roast the hens and fennel in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.  Test with a thermometer to make sure they're cooked through.  

About half way through the hens' cooking time flip them over breast side up to brown on top.  At the same time, drizzle halved Brussels sprouts with oil, salt and pepper and bake them on a separate baking sheet for about 30 minutes, flipping them half way through.

Take the cooked hens out of the oven and cover with foil.  Turn off the oven and leave the vegetables in to stay warm while quickly steaming the yellow beans.  

Serve the fennel topped with a hen and the Brussels sprouts and beans on the side.

It's fun, easy and delicious to serve these little hens.  It makes a roast chicken dinner seem fancy and fun!

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