Individual Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
20 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • 6 (1-pound) Cornish game hens
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 orange, cut into 6 slices
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes, recipe follows
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and position the oven rack in the center of the oven.

  • Rinse hens inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wing tips under the hens, then place them, breast side up, in a large roasting pan, alternating directions of hens so that they fit well in the pan. Rub the hens with 1/2 tablespoon each of the butter. Season the hens inside and out with salt and pepper. Place an orange slice inside the cavity of each bird. Roast hens for 10 minutes, then move them slightly in the pan to prevent them from sticking on the bottom. Continue to roast the hens until they are golden brown and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes longer.

  • Remove the pan from the oven and transfer hens to a serving platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil while you prepare the sauce.

  • Pour off any excess fat in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over high heat. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom of the roasting pan with a wooden spoon. When the wine has almost evaporated, add the orange juice and allow to reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and cook until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with some of the Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Lightly rub the sweet potatoes with the olive oil. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon their size. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.

  • Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer the flesh to a large bowl. Add the cream, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, and salt, and beat on high speed with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Yield: 4 servings

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