Simple Roast Butterflied Cornish Hens

Published September 1, 1997.

Why this recipe works:

For our simplest Cornish hens recipe, we simply butterflied the birds and then roasted them on a rack set in a baking sheet. A little butter rubbed onto the skin promote better browning, and pricking the skin before the birds went into the oven prevented any bubbling. The ideal roasting… read more

For our simplest Cornish hens recipe, we simply butterflied the birds and then roasted them on a rack set in a baking sheet. A little butter rubbed onto the skin promote better browning, and pricking the skin before the birds went into the oven prevented any bubbling. The ideal roasting temperature, as it turned out, was 400 degrees, with a quick blast under the broiler at the end of cooking to promote browning.

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Serves 2 to 4

Birds weighing more than one and one-half pounds can serve two people for weeknight dining. During the week, there's probably no time to brine, but it's easy to lift the skin of these butterflied birds and season the meat directly with salt, pepper, and herbs. You can roast up to four hens at a time if using a nineteen-by-thirteen-inch rack set over a large roasting or jelly roll pan.

Ingredients

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