How to make it

  • I highly recommend brining either Cornish hens or chicken. It just makes them more tasty and juicy. So, combine the salt and sugar in a large deep pot; add cold water and stir until they dissolve. Once dissolved, add the hens and make sure they are submerged in the brine (you can use a plate to make them stay down if they insist on floating) brine for 1 hour, then rinse in cold water and dry well (oil and water don't mix, so make sure they are dry).
  • While the hens are brining, prepare your vegetables. The easy way to peel a cipolline onion is to put it briefly into hot boiling water (about 1 minute) then put it into an ice bath. Then peel. (If you prep the veggies in advance, you will want to put the parsnips and turnips (and potatoes if you cut them) into a bowl with ice water to keep them from turning ugly; drain and dry them well before proceeding to the next step)
  • Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss well. Add some thyme, salt and pepper to your liking and toss again. Place the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Inside of each hen, stick one of the rosemary sprigs, the sage, and 1/4 lemon. Quickly truss the legs and wings to keep them close to the bird. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set on a roasting rack. Place this over the vegetables. (If you don't have a roasting rack, place the hens directly on the vegetables.) Place in the oven, shut the door, and go do something else for about an hour.
  • After your hour is up (did you do something fun? I hope so) the vegetables should be tender and the hens cooked, if not, let them go a little longer, you can kick up the heat to 400 if you want. Add the chicken stock and let cook in the oven for about 5 - 10 minutes more.
  • Remove the hens to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Take the roasting pan to the stove and over medium high heat, cook the vegetable, stirring occasionally, until the chicken stock and hen drippings have reduced and nicely glazed the vegetable and they are tender. See Photo
  • Remove the "stuffing" from the hens, cut into halves, and serve with the vegetables.
  • Per Serving: 655 Calories; 35g Fat (now if you take the skin off the hen after cooking these numbers do go down, this is with the skin on and consumed); 36g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 170mg Cholesterol; 472mg Sodium.

Reviews & Comments 3

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  • elgourmand 7 years ago
    Hay Lindy. I forgot that brining trick. My granny used to brine her turkeys before she roasted them for Thanksgiving. Now I know what I'll cook for Sunday dinner. Thanks for the post, and the memories. RJ
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  • kristopher 8 years ago
    This looks irresistibly nomable right now. Definitely brine the birds, they'll end up sooo tender.
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  • frankieanne 8 years ago
    Wow, your picture is gorgeous - and mouth watering!
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