I know plenty of hunters, and it doesn’t bother me one bit to see a deer, gutted hanging from a tree, but for some reason I am kind of funny about chicken still on the bone. We buy it on the bone because it’s a fraction of the cost of boneless, skinless chicken, but Guitar Dude is the de-boner if there is any de-boning to be done. That said, we have a method for doing Cornish game hens that makes even me drool, bones and all. The meat turns out so incredibly juicy and tender. This method is simple, healthy and ridiculously delicious, and here it is…
Orange Spice Cornish Game Hens
2 Cornish game hens
1 navel orange (any variety)
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 – 2 TBSP melted butter (lactose-free butters work just fine for this)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove innards from game hens, rinse inside and outside in cold water and pat dry. Place side-by-side in a baking dish. Wash outside of orange, gently squeeze to slightly soften and then cut it in half. Take one half of the orange and rub down every single bit of skin on the Cornish hen while gently squeezing the orange. Make sure you pay attention to the wings and legs, too. Once the outside of the hen is coated in orange, shove the orange half inside the cavity of the hen with the open side of the orange facing up. You may have to work it in there depending on the size of the orange and the hens. Once orange is in place, liberally coat the top side of the hen in Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. Repeat with second hen and then place them in the oven.
After about 45 minutes, melt butter in a microwave safe container and brush (baste) melted butter over the tops of the Cornish game hens. Once again, be sure to get the wings and legs. Return to the oven for another 15 – 30 minutes depending on the size of the hens. Once they are nice and brown on top, remove from oven and serve immediately.
The citrus mixes with the creole spices to create a delicious flavor on the outside, and the orange steams flavor and moisture into the hens from the inside. It is to-die-for, I tell y’all. This is one of Guitar Dude’s all-time favorites. We had ours with brown rice and fresh green beans to keep with the healthy theme.
A couple of notes:
–There is a decent amount of sodium in Tony Chachere’s, so do not reapply the seasoning when you baste with butter. It will be tempting, I know… just don’t do it, mmkay?
–We have tried this with other seasonings in order to cut out the sodium. My favorite, though, is to use the creole seasoning and orange together. It is gooo-ood.
If y’all decide to try this one, come back and leave a comment letting us know what you thought of it!