I must admit, I am having fun with the twelve days of Christmas and I hope you are too. To almost stay true to the song here is what I cooked up for the forth day of Christmas: Cornish Hen.
This is a basic recipe that will take no time to put together, however I want to share what I did different: I put bread on the bottom of the skillet and place the Cornish hens over it. I do not know about you, but I do not like to have my chicken sit on the juices, or most times fat rendering of the chicken or Cornish hen. The bread will burn on the bottom, and that is fine, however it will absorb all the fat, and that to me, is wonderful. A healthier way. I tossed the bread afterwards. The Cornish hens stayed moist, the skin nicely crisp, and I do fight my family for it and I usually win. I know, very bad for me, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
I only had tarragon at the house and used it for this recipe, you may use any fresh herbs you may have: rosemary, thyme, sage… Let your imagination go wild. I served the Cornish hen on a bed of mixed greens with a simple vinaigrette.
From me to you
SKILLET ROASTED CORNISH HEN
salt and pepper
1 lemon cut in quarters
slices of bread
Preheat oven at 375º.
In a large cast iron skillet place the slices of bread to cover the skillet bottom.
Place the cleaned Cornish hens over the bread slices. In the cavity sprinkle generously salt and pepper, insert the cut lemon quarter and fresh tarragon. Tie the legs together. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper all over and lightly cover with over oil.
Place in the hot oven for 40 minutes, poking the tights and breasts to make sure all the juices are running out.
When ready, remove from the oven, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
At time of serving discard the bread and cut in half.