This is what we did with them tonight - it's a variation on a very generic theme, taking advantage of whatever herbs/seasonings you have in the fridge or in the garden. Me, I have a black thumb, you know whatever I'm using came from the store.
2 Cornish Hens
4 T butter (I used goat butter tonight, because I had some - wow, that was nice) OR olive oil
Handful of dill, chopped, or parsley, or oregano, or mint, or rosemary, really whatever strikes your fancy here. I've used them all, they're all nice. You can even go dried, but fresh is nicest.
1 lemon OR 1 lime
If you like heat, add 1 seeded jalapeno, chopped, or some paprika
- Preheat oven to 450°
- Split hens lengthwise, removing breastbone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears
- Arrange hens in a baking dish, not too shallow (probably not a rimmed baking sheet)
- Use a zester to get the zest from the citrus. I love the Oxo one. Then, chop the zest up.
- Juice the fruit. If you don't have a wooden reamer, get one. They are hands-down the best way to juice a citrus fruit. And I just like the fact that I own a reamer. Cue Beavis & Butthead laugh.
- In a small dish, combine the herbs, butter (if you are using butter), pepper, zest and juice. Mash it up as well as you can.
- If you decided to use olive oil, drizzle some on the hens
- Smear the mixture over the hens, then pour whatever wasn't incorporated over.
- Put the hens in the oven on the top rack, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the juices are basically boiling under the skin. You probably want to turn the pan around a few times to account for uneven oven temps.
I now resolve to go running in the morning. Believe me, I need to.