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Roasted Cornish Game Hens

A delicious roast turkey dinner is certainly a feast to be thankful for but if cooking and carving such a big bird is not your idea of good fun, then you might consider cooking a little bird instead. You can still create a traditional Thanksgiving theme by roasting a delicious medley of fall vegetables, baking a tray of cornbread stuffing and making some cranberry sauce and, the entire meal can be cooked in less than an hour.

If you are roasting a turkey, hands down Convection will give the best results but to achieve these great results you will be doing things a little differently than in a traditional recipe. The cooking time will be much shorter than when using traditional Bake and the turkey must be cooked on a rack in a shallow pan to benefit from the circulating Convection heat. (Please see our step-by-step instructions of how to plan and orchestrate a Thanksgiving Feast using convection for details.)

This short video, How To Roast A Turkey in Convection, will show you how to create a memorable feast with great ease:

Meal Preparation Tips

There are some fresh small hens available at this time of year but generally

Cornish game hens are purchased frozen so they must be defrosted first.

If serving half a hen per person they can be cut in half before cooking so you don’t have to handle them when they are hot. If roasting root vegetables together with the hens they will cook in the same amount of time 40-45 minutes. Quick cooking green beans will only take 12-15 minutes and can be added in towards the end of the cooking time and everything will be ready to serve at one time.

Roast Cornish Game Hens

  • ½ or 1 Cornish Hen per person
  • 1 – tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • ½ – teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning
  • ¼ – teaspoon garlic parsley seasoning
  • 1 – teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the Oven to Convection Roast 375°

Wash the hens in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Combine the oil and seasonings and rub over the hens, then place them on a rack in a shallow pan for roasting.

Place the seasoned hens on a rack in a shallow pan and cook for 10 minutes at 375, reduce the oven temperature to 350° and cook for another 30-35 minutes until the hens are evenly browned.

Roast Harvest Vegetable Medley

  • 1 – 2 lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 2 – sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 – medium parsnips, peeled & chopped
  • 1lb – Brussels sprouts, trimmed, blanched & quartered
  • 6 – shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 – medium yellow onion, peeled & chopped
  • 3 – cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 4 – leaves fresh sage, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ – teaspoon dried oregano

Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to Convection or Convection Roast 350°

Combine all the ingredients and toss with enough oil so they are evenly coated. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 40 – 45 minutes until crisp tender.

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Cointreau

  • ½ – cup sugar
  • ½ – cup Cointreau
  • ½ – cup orange juice
  • 1 – package fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 – teaspoon finely grated orange zest

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, Cointreau and orange juice, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cranberries and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the cranberries have popped. Stir in the orange zest and cool to room temperature.

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