Today’s recipe is an elegant and perfectly-portioned chicken recipe you can make whenever you want to impress. This Cuban Roast Cornish Game Hens dish is made by marinating Cornish game hens in a lime-juice-garlic-fresh oregano based marinade overnight and roasting them in the oven for over an hour.
Are you ready to up your chicken game? If so, I have great news for you. My friend’s, Eva of the beautiful blog Adventures in Cooking, new cookbook Adventures in Chicken is out today. Eva’s book, filled with 150 recipes made with chicken, will make you stop what you are doing and run to the store to pick up some chicken. Whether you are new to cooking or a veteran in the kitchen, I guarantee you that this cookbook will offer you many dishes that will satiate your audience.
Having spent some time with her in person back in January of this year, I already knew how talented and knowledgeable she was when it came to cooking. But her cookbook proved to me that she and her cuisine have graduated to another level. As you turn the pages of her book, you cannot help but be in awe of her knowledge and commitment in making flavorful and delicious chicken dishes that are made with simple, everyday ingredients. Recipes ranging from different cuisines from all over the world to the classic dishes we all know and love are made with her creative twist. Plus, she shares her techniques and tips when it comes to cooking chicken safely and with lots of flavor.
Eva’s cookbook doesn’t disappoint when it comes to photography as well. If you were a follower of her blog, you would already know about her gorgeous work. The photos in her book are no different. As someone, who does food photography day in and out, I know how difficult it can be to photograph chicken and make it look appealing. However, as it is usually the case with Eva, her dishes look so effortless and mouthwatering while being true to the end product.
About Cuban Roast Cornish Game Hens Recipe:
It was so hard to pick a recipe to share here, because there are so many great ones that I think would peak your interest. After bringing it down to three of them, I finally decided on this Cuban Roast Cornish Game Hens dish. I guess my years of living in the Caribbean and my love for its cuisine made this the winner. As suspected, it did not disappoint. Cornish game hens marinated in a simple limejuice-based marinade roasted in the oven (for almost 2 hours) were truly moist and tender. Plus, I thought that they made an elegant presentation when laid on each plate.
To make it, you start with the marinade. The Cuban flavors are represented here in a mixture made with lime juice, olive oil, garlic, fresh oregano leaves, and cumin. In her recipe, Eva places the hens and the marinade in a large resealable plastic bag before placing them in the fridge for overnight. I did the same thing, but I divided them in between two 1-gallon size Ziploc bags, because I think my hens were a little larger than hers. If yours fit in a large plastic bag, feel free to use one bag.
As you can see in the photos, I did truss my birds, because I think they look more presentable for photos when their legs are tied together. Most people truss their chicken for even roasting as it helps the chicken from drying out while cooking. However, since these hens are already small and roasted in a fairly tight casserole dish, you would be fine if you didn’t truss them. Speaking of the casserole dish, in her recipe Eva used a large (6¾ quarter) Dutch oven to roast these hens. I did not have a large one like hers, but a regular 9X13 ovenproof casserole dish did the job beautifully. Still, if you have one like hers feel free to use it.
I served my hens over some Cuban black beans and rice mixed with fresh oregano leaves, but regular rice or some roasted potatoes or any other side for that matter would be just as good. Believe me, even if you serve these with a simple salad, they will disappear in no time. I promise, just the smell in your kitchen as they roast will be enough to make your family hungry.
Eva’s book will serve as my fundamental cookbook for creative, engaging and flavorful chicken recipes. I have tried several other recipes including Teriyaki Drumsticks with Umami Rice, Mushroom Chicken Soup, Butternut Squash and Chicken Casserole with Sage Bechamel. These flavors bring your palate together with recipes from all over the world leaving you longing not only for the dish, but for an experience that extends beyond your kitchen.
Other Chicken Recipes You Might Also Be Interested:
Skillet Roast Chicken with Parsnips and Fennel
Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Almond Puree
Ottoman-Style Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts, Currants, and Herbs
Southwestern Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Roasted Broccoli
Cuban Roast Cornish Game Hens
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Cuban
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 8-10 juice limes
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped – more as garnish
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 Cornish game hens (about 1 pound each), rinsed and pat-dried thoroughly with paper towels
- 1 cup water
- ½ small yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Whisk together the lime-juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano leaves, cumin and salt in a bowl.
- Divide the marinade in between two 1-gallon resalable plastic bags. Place two hens in each bag and press to get as much air as possible out of it before sealing. Repeat the same process for the other two hens. Place them in the fridge and let it marinade at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the hens and their marinade in a large (mine was 9X13) casserole dish*. Add water and arrange the slices of onion around the birds. Sprinkle the hens with freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 F degrees and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Let them rest for 20 minutes and serve.
Alternatively, you can also use a 6¾-quart oval Dutch oven, which is what Eva used in her book.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 1020
- Sodium: 688.8mg
- Fat: 83.4g
- Carbohydrates: 8.2g
- Protein: 58.6g
- Cholesterol: 339.4mg
This recipe is adapted (with minor changes) from Eva Kosmas Flores’s cookbook Adventures in Chicken.