be kindred!

get my latest fun and delicious recipes, special offers and exclusive offers that will help you cook and eat healthier!

kindred-kitchen recipes:

  • Roasted Cornish Hens with Apple Cider Pan Gravy

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    • share this:

    What could be better than serving each guest around your Christmas table their very own miniature hen….perfectly packaged with a deliciously crispy and seasoned crust?  They are pretty easy to find and remarkably simple to make.  The best part?  They look as though you spent all day laboring over a divine meal that will show your family and friends how happy you are to have them around your table.
    To start, find fresh Cornish hens, preferably organic and free range.  Each should weigh about 1 pound (shoot for 1.5-2 pounds for bigger eaters).  Be sure to rinse and pat dry each hen before preparing for stuffing and cooking.  And be sure to include some liquid in the roasting pan….chicken broth, apple cider, chopped carrots, celery, onion, a few cloves of garlic and a cinnamon stick or a few whole cloves. Be creative here as you will use it later as the basis for your gravy.

    Tip: if you don’t have a roasting rack, roll strips of aluminum
    foil and arrange them in the pan to create lift for the hens


    Note: There are lots of great sites for testing meat temperature.  Remove hens from pan and set on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the cider gravy.

    © 2010 Nancy Granada Kindred Kitchen

    Roasted Cornish Hens with Apple Cider Pan Gravy

    servings: 4 | time: about 90 minutes

    Tags: ,

    • share this:


    4 – 1 to 1.5 pound Cornish Hens
    1 – TBSP butter
    1 – TBSP olive oil
    1.5 – cups chicken broth
    1 – cup apple cider
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1 sprig fresh tarragon
    1 onion, chopped
    1 carrot, chopped
    a stalk celery, chopped
    salt and pepper


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need a large roasting pan with a rack (if you don’t have a roasting rack, a few strips of rolled up aluminum foil will do the trick)

    1. Place the broth, cider, rosemary, tarragon, onion, carrot and celery in the bottom of the pan. Set aside

    2. Place each hen on the roasting rack in the pan (make sure to remove the giblets and such).

    3.  Melt the butter with olive oil  and brush each hen with the mixture

    4. Season generously with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper each for each hen)

    5. Bake at 350 degrees for 70-90 minutes, basting aver 20 minutes or so. Birds are ready when they reach about 170 degrees

    For the Cider Gravy:

    1. Skim away most of the fat from the drippings (this is made easier if you have one of these nifty gadgets. If not, you’ll need to allow the pan to sit for a few minutes and allow to the fat to rise to the top, then skim off with a spoon.)

    2. Once the fat skimming step is complete, prepare the cornstarch slurry:  The basic proportions are 2 to 1 (liquid to cornstarch) per 1 cup of hot liquid.  So, for this recipe measure 2 TBSP cornstarch in 4 TBSP cold water.  Whisk until dissolved.

    Strain the pan drippings into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and slowly whisk in the slurry.  Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes to allow the cornstarch to do its thing.  Whisk in 2 TBSP cold butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.



    One response to “Roasted Cornish Hens with Apple Cider Pan Gravy”

    1. Kelly says:

      Nancy just made this for Christmas Eve dinner. It was delicious! I loved having my own chicken – they were so flavorful and juicy. It was great with her pomegranate chutney – amazing! Can’t wait to make it again! Thanks for a fantastic meal Nancy – you definitely spoiled us all!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.