Brined Cornish Hens

Cornish hens like any whole poultry benefit if you brine before cooking.  The overnight brining makes them tender and juicy.  Just look at these golden, browned succulent little birds!

 Roasted Lemon Game Hens

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. freshly ground peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon fennel
1 qt. ice water
4 (1 1/2-ib) Cornish hens
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns

Bring 1 cup of water and next eight ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in 1 qt. ice water.  Rinse hens; pat dry and add to brine.  Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Remove hens from brine; pat dry.  Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together with string.  Brush hens with olive oil.  Mix sage and peppercorns together and rub on all sides of the hens.  Arrange hens on rack in roasting pan.  Bake for 50 minutes or until hens are done.  Cover and let sand 15 minutes before serving. 

I served these on a bed of Israel couscous.



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