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One Pan Roasted Cornish Hen with Veggies

This past week, I was in serious need of a comfort meal. It was rather chilly here in Los Angeles so I needed something to soothe my soul. When I came to that realization that I truly needed a soul soothing meal, something along the lines of a Thanksgiving feast came to mind. Now, when I crave something, I want it and I want it at that very moment. So, it’s a great thing that I know how to cook for myself. I was only cooking for a party of one that evening so I thought, what better way to feed my Thanksgiving craving than to fix a Thanksgiving-like meal? Off I went to my local grocery store, perused the aisles and decided to go with a cornish hen. 

Ok, so this was not exactly a true Thanksgiving feast, but it certainly had some similarities. I roasted the hen, along with some sweet potatoes, celery and carrots. I am sure if I had some stuffing, I would have had that along with it. I wanted to still keep it simple and comforting and I certainly did not have the time or energy to make a 3 hour turkey. 

This cornish hen dish was extremely easy to make. I decided to make good use of any left over vegetables that I had in my refrigerator. I used some celery, sweet potatoes and carrots as my vegetables. If you are not the best at cutting up vegetables, then don’t worry! You don’t have to chop them up perfectly. For this dish, simply a rough chop will do. Roughly chopping the vegetables helps you to prep faster and it also helps them to not get soggy and disintegrate as they bake in such a hot oven for almost an hour long.  

One Pan Roasted Cornish Hen with Veggies

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Madison Course: Main, DinnerDifficulty: Easy
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots

  • 2 small sweet potatoes

  • 3 stalks celery

  • 1 cornish hen

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1/4 slice small lemon

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450° F/230° C. Peel the carrots and sweet potatoes. Roughly chop the carrots, sweet potatoes and celery and place them in a roasting pan. Place the cornish hen on top of the chopped vegetables.
  • Next, in a small bowl, mix together softened butter, black pepper, salt, paprika and onion powder.
  • Slater the butter mixture all over the cornish hen. (Optional: cover the tips of the wings with aluminum foil and tie the legs together with aluminum foil) Pour chicken broth only on the surrounding veggies. Try to not put the broth on the chicken so that the butter will brown nicely.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Paprika adds a wonderful color to the skin.
  • In lieu of oil, I much rather prefer to use unsalted butter in this recipe. Butter helps to give the skin a richer and more comforting flavor.

Slathering the cornish hen with the seasoned butter mixture was my favorite part. I just find these little 2-pound birds to be so cute. Since the cornish hen was only 2 pounds, it was so easy to use only about half a stick of butter to get it nicely coated. You are more than welcome to get under the skin and get the butter in there too, but I just kept it coated on the outer part of the skin and found it to taste just as juicy and delicious. 

When I say juicy I mean it. This hen was just dripping with juiciness when I pulled it out of my 450° F/ 230 °C oven. Here is a tip for you: when the hen first comes out of the oven, use some tongs or a spatula to mix the veggies around in the drippings in the roasting pan. You won’t regret it. Just like a Thanksgiving turkey, the drippings from this hen give the vegetables optimal flavor. 

As you can tell from looking at the ingredients and directions for this recipe, this cornish hen dish is a pretty easy one to make. So, if you are a little bit intimidated to make a big turkey or even a roast chicken, start with something small, like this 2 pound cornish hen instead. The hardest part about this dish is waiting to eat it, but it was all worth the wait. I can promise you that. Enjoy your meal!

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