Taste of the Town: Oven-roasted Cornish Hen Recipe

In Summary

The cooking show host chefs up a meal perfect that is a Sunday or any day dinner time winner. 

Roasted Cornish Hens

2 whole Cornish game hens, about 1 ½ lbs. each

4 tablespoons butter or ¼ cup olive oil

Complete seasoning, about 2 tablespoons

Garlic powder, about 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon ground oregano

1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning, optional

Salt and Pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat the hens dry. Use half the butter or olive oil on each hen and rub all over, including the cavity, then sprinkle the seasonings all over and inside the hens. Put in baking dish and roast for approximately 1 hour, or until internal temperature of 165 is reached. Baste occasionally while roasting. Serve with Southern Style Cornbread Dressing and Light Chicken Gravy Sauce. Serves 2 – 4.

Light Chicken Gravy

1/3 cup pan drippings from Cornish hens

2/3 cup chicken stock, homemade is best

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup cold water

½ teaspoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

Complete seasoning to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the drippings from the roasted Cornish hens and chicken stock. Put in the butter and stir until it melts. In a small dish add the cold water and cornstarch, stirring until it dissolves, then slowly pour into the gravy, and add the bouillon powder. Stir constantly until it begins to thicken into a saucy gravy. Taste to see if additional seasonings are needed, then lower heat until ready to serve over hens and dressing. (If gravy seems too thin, use a small amount of water and cornstarch to thicken).

Southern Style Cornbread Dressing

3 ½ cups crumbled cornbread

2/3 cup seasoned panko crumbs

1 – 10.5 oz. can Cream of Chicken with Herbs (or Cream of Chicken)

½ can (5 ¼ ounces) of whole milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup (maybe a little more) chicken stock, homemade is best

½ cup each, chopped onion, green peppers & celery

¼ cup cooking oil

2-3 tablespoons sage

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

2 tablespoons complete seasonings

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning, optional


Salt and Pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Crumble cornbread into a large mixing bowl and add in panko crumbs. Mix in all the dry seasonings. Heat a skillet with the cooking oil and sauté the onions, peppers, and celery until tender and onions are translucent. Add a little salt and pepper and set aside. Add into the dry mixture the soup and milk, stirring to combine, then the chicken stock and eggs. If mixture seems too thick, slowly add in a little more stock. Taste to see if seasonings need to be adjusted (if you’re concerned about raw eggs, do this step before adding the eggs), then add the cooked vegetables, stir and pour into an oiled cast iron skillet and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until set.

If serving with the Roasted Cornish Hens, scoop a portion and stuff into the hen’s cavity then add a scoop at the base of the hen. Drizzle cornbread dressing and hen with the Light Chicken Gravy.

Roasted Candied Sweet Potato Rounds

2 large, sweet potatoes

1 stick butter, melted

2 tablespoons butter for baking pan

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white granulated sugar

1 lemon, cut in half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon lemon extract

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Salt, just a pinch

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1-inch rounds. Put potatoes in a bowl and squeeze the juice of ½ lemon over them, adds flavor and keeps the color vibrant. Melt butter in a medium bowl and add both sugars and all the spices, except the salt. Also add the juice of the remaining lemon and stir all ingredients well.

Line the sweet potato rounds in the buttered baking dish and lightly sprinkle salt over them. Next spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture over the potatoes and lightly cover with foil. Bake on the middle oven rack for about 20 minutes, a fork should easily pierce the potatoes, remove the foil and turn each slice over, spooning the glaze over the potatoes and continue to roast, uncovered, for another 8 – 10 minutes. Potatoes should be very tender and glaze not seized up. Remove from oven and spoon candied glaze over potatoes again as you serve them. Makes 4 servings.

Optional: A little orange juice can be used with the lemon juice, if desired. Taste for sweetness balance.

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and Spring Onions

1 – 9 oz. bag spinach, triple washed

3-4 spring onions, green and white parts chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and Pepper

Directions: Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes, careful not to burn. Add the bag of spinach, and stir to blend in the onions, garlic, just a couple more minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2 – 4.

Optional: Sprinkle red pepper flakes while sautéing for added kick

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