It’s not chicken. It’s not turkey. But it IS delicious.
Yesterday evening found me at our regular Friday family night dinner (Holiday Edition), where my uncle roasted up some of these babies.
And yes, they were delicious.
And yes, my face was smothered in thick and warm gravy juice by the end of the meal.
Not having extensive knowledge on the cornish game hen, a quick wikipedia search revealed that these delicious pieces of poultry are a hybrid between the Cornish Game and the Plymouth or White Rock chicken breeds. More conveniently for breeders, they only take 5-6 weeks to fully develop and only weigh between two and two and a half pounds.
But why pay for a bird that tastes almost exactly like chicken and is both smaller and a bit pricier??
The answer lies in the question.
Cornish Game Hens are smaller than regular chickens but that also makes them easier to defrost, handle, and bang into the oven. This makes them great for meals with fewer people present, or you know, when you’re alone. I definitely foresee a lot of solo hen in my near future.
Aside from practicality though, these game hens seemed way JUICIER than any chicken i’ve ever had. Even the breast,which I normally find dry, boring, and bland on chicken, was just so SO MOIST. And despite being juicer, it also seemed LESS fatty. So it appears these birds also seem to defy simple logic!
I’m sure my unky’s hand in cooking the hens also played a major role in the supreme deliciousness factor of my meal yesterday. Slow roasting was the name of the game last night and he had the game hens roasting for about 2.5 hours at 260 degrees F.
And let’s not forget about the MARINADE. There were three ingredients for the marinade and then he added his special SECRET ingredient at the end to create MAGIC.
1.) Soy Sauce
And the special secret ingredient? MARMALADE!!!
He spreads that mojo over the skin of the hens ten minutes before they’re finished cooking and then cranks the heat up to broil them. This gives them that lovely caramel-ly brown colour and makes the skin a bit crispy. (you know, like FRIED CHICKEN without the fried. or the fat. It’s a win win, you can’t lose.)
It’s like CHRISTMAS IN YOUR MOUTH.
So would I recommend the cornish game hen??
Well let’s just say, when Chicken asks, I’ll have this to say, “Listen, I’m not breaking up with you and it’s not the end between the two of us, but you’ve got some competition in town these days. I love you, but I love Hen too. I’m sorry if this hurts, but maybe we can all just figure out a way to get along.”
So in other words – YES, yes I would recommend the Cornish Game Hen.