Friday, February 1, 2013

Herb de Provence Roasted Cornish Hens

Herb de Provence Roasted Cornish Hens

In movies and on TV, they always make Valentine's Day look so glamorous. They show couples clad in red, chatting in romantic, cozy cafes where they are virtually alone, holding hands and making coy eye contact over a dish of steaming pasta or a chocolate delicacy. After the meal, over a glass of champagne or cappuchino, there is the ever present gift of something glittery or gold. I am swooning .... sign me up!!!! There are only a few things missing in this scene: the required reservation time that has now passed by at least 45 minutes, the restricted special event menu with non-restricted prices, the over-cooked "steak briquette," and the server that is MIA because he is at the bar trying to retrieve your specially advertised $15  "love potion" of the evening. Yeah, for those of us in the know..... You DO NOT go out for Valentine's Day (Attention: New Year's Eve also follows this rule.)

As soon as you step into most restaurants on February 14th, the lure of going out for Valentine's Day dies just about as quickly as those roses they shipped in half frozen from some distant locale.  It is all a lie people; a carefully marketed and advertised scheme to make us feel warm and fuzzy so we collectively pay millions of dollars each year.

So here is my ??? to you. Why not stay home, open a bottle of your favorite wine, turn on some Frank Sinatra and cook something really special together? It doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to take all day. It just has to be something that you both love and that will allow you to spend time together. Isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about? Being with your loved one? Get your hands dirty, laugh, make a mess.... There is something to be said about the close proximity of working in the kitchen... You  might find that you are so happy and relaxed that while your dinner of choice is in the oven, you feel the need to play "your song" and dance like you did when you first met.  What is better than that?  This year make Valentine's Day truly your day!

Remember the motto here at Bonbons and Biscotti- Love begins in the Kitchen. And on February 14th that is exactly where you will find me and my honey... in the kitchen, with a little Tony Bennett playing in the background.



This is the perfect easy recipe for any special occasion. It is individual servings and you can make whatever sides you love. It is a little more special than the typical chicken and you can really make a nice presentation. Give it a try!

Herb de Provence Roasted Cornish Hens

2 Cornish Hens, washed and patted dry
2 lemons
1 medium onion, halved
2 Tbsp Herb de Provence
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly wash inside and outside of hens and dry.  Salt and pepper the cavity to taste. Cut the onion in half. Cut one of the halves into quarters and the other half into rings. Place the rings in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan or glass dish that will allow adequate room for the hens. Place one quarter of the remaining onion in each hen's cavity. Do this same process with the lemon. (Half of the lemon cut into rings, half cut into quarters and placed in the hen's cavity.) Drizzle each of  the tops of the hens with about 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with Herb de Provence. Rub the herbs into the skin of the breast and legs. Place hens on top of the onion and lemon rings. Juice 1/2 of the remaining lemon into the bottom of the pan.

Ready for the oven
Tent the pan with foil for the first half of the cooking time to prevent the hens from getting to dark. Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.

Serve with your favorite sides.  If you wish you can make pan gravy to accompany the hens. There are a lot of different methods for making gravy. I personally, place all the drippings in a pan add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the drippings to a boil. At this time, in a small bowl or coffee cup I combine 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch with about 1/4 cup water and mix together. I then quickly stir this into the boiling drippings. The gravy should thicken. Continue to cook for about 3-4 more minutes and it is ready.


Jerry | Simply Good Eating said...

Hi Rebecca,

I couldn't agree more with you on Valentines Day. I definitely enjoy making a nice meal at home more then going out for particularly for Vday. Now that herb de Provence hen looks simply delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe post :)

Katerina said...

Perfectly cooked hen! It looks crunchy on the outside and I suspect it is soft inside!

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