Butter Basted Roasted Cornish Hens with Fresh Herbs and Shallots
Damon Dahlen, AOL
Provided by: Taste Editors
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1 1/2-pound Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry
- ¾ cup shallots, sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt/pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl blend together well 2 tablespoons of the butter with the sage, thyme, and zest, and the salt.
- Loosen the skin covering the breast meat on each hen by slipping your fingers under the skin and sliding them between the skin and the meat. Divide the butter mixture between the hens, inserting it under the skin of each hen and smoothing it evenly by rubbing the outside of the skin, and season the hens with salt and pepper. Tie each hen's legs together with kitchen string.
- In a large ovenproof heavy skillet or small flameproof roasting pan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, in it sauté the hens, breast sides up, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown, and roast them in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven, basting them with the pan juices every 10 minutes, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of the thigh registers 180°F.
- Let the hens stand for 5 minutes and discard the string.
- Shallots: Saute shallots in butter over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes until soft and golden. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning.