Since I'm doing them whole with maybe a lemon and herb sprigs inside, how long should they roast and at what temp? Any ideas on sides?
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If you can get ahold of a copy of Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's 'Lidia's Italy' I highly recommend making the cornish game hen recipe in there. I'm at work so I can't get to the recipe, but it's to die for!
Chops is a trusted home cook.
https://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/768 From Lidia's website.
One of my fondest food memories is of my husband and me sitting at the table on our boat at anchor, eating delicious garlicky Cornish game hens with crisp skin. I didn't have a recipe and my oven was pretty weird, but here is what I did:
Dry two hens thoroughly. Crush about 6 or more cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle with the plenty of coarse salt and rub the birds inside and out with the resulting paste. Stuff with thin lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs. Bake at 350 for half an hour. Increase to 400 until skins are crackly and juices run clear.
Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
My Mom used to make them stuffed with wild rice (cook the rice first) mixed with chopped apricots and chopped almonds. Glaze with a combination of marmalade and apricot jam. Roast at 375 until an internal thermometer reads 165 F or the leg is very loose when you wiggle it. If they start to get too brown before they're done because of the jam glaze, loosely tent with foil and finish roasting.
.... chopped, dried apricots
I just did some last night. Roasted at 425 for 45 min plus 10 min resting in til foil and they came out perfect. I made a safe butter and put it under the skin to baste during cooking. Sage leaf inside. Trussed and removed wishbone and they were amazing. Oh and I made a quick sauce from the fat in the pan.
I know Valentine's is over now, but for future Cornish Game Hen recipe needing, I really enjoyed this recipe from Tori Avey (The Shiksa in the Kitchen).
The time required to cook it in her original recipe was way off - 90 minutes for the original roasting and then another 15 minutes after re-marinading to crisp up the skin - so I would definitely reduce it based on the size of your birds and your oven, or just cook with an instant read thermometer.
The final product, however, was delicious.
Don't you love the Victor Borge quote in the article? "Put the hen in a Dutch oven and do him in brown butter for 12 minutes. If you have a piano in the kitchen play the ‘Minuet Waltz’ 12 times."
Sam is a trusted home cook.
Make a looing sauce: about 2 to 3 cups of soy sauce, 1 star anise, 1/3 cup sugar, about 6 slices of fresh ginger, and couple of lemons or oranges cut in half with the juices.
And enough water to cover the birds---a few cups. Use a small place to hold down the birds. Remove the birds. (you where just adjusting liquid in the pot there).
Put a string around the birds under their wings so you lift them up. Bring the sauce to a boil and drop in the birds bring it to a boil again...and turn off. Let that go for 1hr. There's enough thermal mass to cook the birds.
Remove the birds and hang them up with the strings on cabinat knobs with a drip pan for 30 mins. Then use a hair dryer to make the skin very very dry.
Then fry them in a good bit of oil until the outer skin crisps up using the string to help this. The bird is fully cooked and seasoned and the frying is simply to crisp up the skin.
You can save the sauce for use again either for birds or for red cooked beef.