Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tasty Adolescent Chickens

Last night I made some pretty tasty baby chickens for dinner -- or, more accurately, cornish game hens which only LOOK like adolescent chickens. They had them on sale at the King Soopers near our house and I had never made them so I decided to give it a try.

They were MUCH easier to roast than the full-size chicken I did a few weeks ago. First of all, they came giblet-free, which I have now decided is a must for me. Or at least get them contained in a little bag, like with turkeys. The chicken had them all loose in the cavity and I even surprised myself at how grossed out I was cleaning the inside of that chicken. Much simpler to give it a hearty rinse inside and out and be done!

After rinsing them, I put them in my make-shift roasting pan and prepped them for seasoning.

Them's some nekkid chickens. I mean hens. Nekkid hens.

I made an herbed butter (super simple: take as much butter or margarine as you think you'll need and dump some herbs in it; moosh together) and spread it on the breasts of the hens under the skin. Someone told me this trick for seasoning a turkey -- the butter melts and helps keep the meat moist, and still gives it a good flavor if you (like me) choose to remove the skin when you eat it. It was a little difficult because the butter (which was actually margarine) wanted to stick to my fingers more than the hens, but it worked out eventually. I used parsley and a little Italian seasoning in the butter, and sprinkled some more Italian seasoning on top.

Not so nekkid hens. I used the toothpicks to keep their legs and wings tucked in during baking. Helps them stay moist. You could also tie the legs closed, but toothpicks were closer.

Pop in the pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and bake about an hour (larger hens may need more time). I took these out about halfway through and drizzled some olive oil on the top to make sure they didn't get too dry, and they didn't at all! The hens came out absolutely perfect, although my potatoes on the side were a little under-done.

A tasty meal for me and Dear. It was the first time we ate at our table without guests! I felt very grown up. I really enjoy cooking for other people, and my mom and grandmother taught me that setting a nice simple table is quick and easy, and makes a huge difference. This is a very simple setting, but it was a lovely dinner anyway.

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