Monday, December 2, 2013

Roasted cornish hens with sweet and savory brown rice

Have you ever seen a 2 lb turkey at the stores? That's why for a small thanksgiving dinner, I made hen. And they were delicious. I think I'll make them again and again and I don't need a particular day for it.

I didn't want to go into the effort of making a stuffing, so I prepared this very simple, easy to put together, sweet and savory brown rice. 

Few weeks ago, I visited my sister at Philadelphia and she made this absolutely delectable green fish with lots of cilantro. I'll try to make that sometime later but I thought of marinating these birds with cilantro. 

I really got under the skin of these birds!! See?

Unfortunately, I didn't click pics of the rice while I was preparing it. I added whatever veggies I had with me- carrots, green beans, mushrooms. I will definitely add some bell peppers and celery next time.  Those cubes you see in the pic below are not potatoes but apples, which makes it sweet. Also, I made this vegetarian but you can choose to make it non vegetarian with some spicy smoked sausage. This rice prep is already delicious, I am wondering what it will be with bell peppers, celery and sausage. I have to try that another time. YUM!!

And next time, I'll do the same prep with chicken.


For Roasted Hens:

A pack of 2 hens, frozen [2.5 lbs]

1 medium size red onion

3 tbsp fresh ginger paste

2 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup cilantro

2 tbsp butter

Juice of 1 lime


For Sweet and Savory Brown Rice: 

2 cups of cooked brown rice [I used leftover rice]

1 carrot chopped

1 onion chopped in chunks

1 cup chopped green beans

2 cups chopped white mushrooms

1 medium size apple chopped [I used gala. Use any sweet kind]

1 tbsp poultry seasoning [I used McCormick's]




For hens:

Thaw the birds. Wash them and pat them dry.

Grind the cilantro and the cumin seeds with small amount of water to make a smooth paste.

Marinate the hens with ginger, garlic, cilantro paste, chili powder, paprika, salt, lime juice and butter. Slide your finger under the skin and push your marinade in and spread it.

Put the onion chunks inside the birds.

Marinate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Place the hens in the middle of the pan. Add all of the marinade paste.

Roast for 1 hr. Baste it with butter every 15 min to keep the birds moist.

For rice:

Heat a cooking pan on medium heat with oil.

Add the mushrooms first. Do not add salt. Salt will release a lot of water preventing the mushrooms from getting browned nicely.

Now add the onion, followed by carrots and beans.

Then add the apple, salt, poultry seasoning and stir.

When the vegetables are cooked and the apple pieces are soft but not mushy, add the rice.

Season with salt. Stir gently and cover. Cook on medium to medium-low heat for another 5 mins for the rice to absorb all the flavors.

Spread it out nicely on a platter with roasted hens. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro and ENJOY!!


  1. wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again,
    Regards, cornish hen recipe


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