Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rosemary-Glazed Cornish Hens

We picked up some of these on a recent grocery shopping trip. I didn't have a recipe in mind, but figured it would be really easy to cook in the Crock Pot.
Side Note: Thank you, Tyson, for taking out the ickiness that is "giblets". Once, years ago, on a whim I decided I would impress The Critic (at the time, in the "fiance" stage) by cooking him dinner. I chose a simple-looking recipe for cooking a whole (yes, whole) chicken. Walking through the grocery store on my cell phone with my mom talking me through the process, she assured me that "these days, all whole chickens are sold with the giblets already removed. They may be in a little package inside the chicken, but they're already taken out." I'm sure you can see where this story is going. I got home, opened up the chicken (already grossed out by this point) only to find no little package. I had to perform surgery on this dead, frozen animal to get these parts out! Oh, I was a sight to see - using Ziploc bags over my hands because I had no latex gloves handy!

Anyways, I digress. We got these suckers home, and I searched for a Crock Pot recipe that would please both myself and The Critic. Guess what? Couldn't find one! But I
did find this recipe on the Tyson website that looked good, if we were looking to grill. But since we weren't, here's what I did:
Rosemary-Glazed Cornish Hens (For the Slow Cooker)
2/3 cup orange juice, frozen concentrate
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine orange juice concentrate, vinegar, brown sugar, chopped onion, rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside.
Sprinkle hen/s evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Place hen, belly up, in crock pot. Cover with glaze. Throw some more rosemary on the hen. Add a can of chicken broth for good measure.
Cook on LOW for 6 hours. If desired, periodically spoon juices from bottom of Crock over hen.
Some Notes:
  • I only cooked 1 hen. We weren't sure if we would like it, and there's only 2 of us, so this was enough. I'm not sure how the cook time would vary if there were 2 birds in the crock, so I won't even try to guess.
  • The directions in the recipe mention that you can tie the wings and legs with string if desired. I skipped this step, which is my hen doesn't look very, um, ladylike in the picture.
  • Our hen was not completely thawed when we put it in the crock. Next time, I would like to try adding some of the glaze inside the hen before cooking it.
  • Beware: when you are cooking the glaze it does not smell pleasant. I was quite concerned about how it would turn out, because even after being refrigerated all night, the glaze did not smell appealing. I thought I would share this tidbit with you so you are not caught off-guard.
The Verdict:
It was amazing! The hen came out wonderfully, very tender and moist (I would tell you a funny story about how The Critic tried to lift the cooked hen out of the crock with a fork, only to have both legs fall off, but I'll skip it). The meat had a wonderful flavor - and that says a lot, coming from me, the person who only tolerates poultry because I should, and has only rarely actually enjoyed it (or found the poultry to even have "flavor").
As The Critic said, "this is something you could make when you need a 'fancy dinner' to impress someone, or even just have someone over for dinner." (If that were the case, though, I think I would definitely tie up the wings and legs in an attempt to have a prettier presentation).

No comments:

Post a Comment