Sunday, October 21, 2007

How To Impress Almost Anyone

It's true. Despite being one of the easiest things to make, almost everyone is impressed when presented with a juicy oven roasted chicken. If, like myself, your kitchen is the size of a shoe box, and your oven the size of a quarter, you may want to try the above pictured recipe. It's not exactly a chicken, but Cornish game hen. They're much smaller, usually less than two pounds, and almost sinfully cheap, even in NYC. A 1.55 lb game hen is the perfect portion for one person, costs less than $4.00, and only takes 35 minutes to cook. My favorite game hen recipe includes a glaze that only takes about 10 minutes to make, and it's literally just a matter of mixing the ingredients and letting them boil down into a glaze. Season your chicken, glaze it, bake it, and you're done! It's really even easier than it sounds. I like to serve it over couscous made with chicken stock, carrots and peas (another great time saver). The recipe I use originally ran in a 1992 issue of Gourmet. I've actually changed it a bit (mostly just the spices, I prefer using cumin and coriander, and omitting the fennel seed) but I think it's a really great, and you'll enjoy making it for friends, or for yourself. If you want to take a look at the original, it's available at

Cornish Game Hen with Honey-Vinegar Glaze

1 Cornish game hen

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

3/4 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp paprika


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse hen under cold water, removing and discarding innards. Pat dry with paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper and with 1/4 tsp each cumin, coriander and paprika. Set hen aside.

2. Mix honey, vinegar and olive oil in a small saucepan with remaining cumin and coriander and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow mixture to reduce, stirring occasionally with a whisk until glaze coats the back of a spoon.

3. Brush glaze onto the hen, setting aside any remaining glaze. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes (until juices run clear), basting with remaining glaze every 10 minutes. Allow hen to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.


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