My friend is not-so-secretly a culinary genius. She makes the most exotic meals for her family and she makes it seem so effortless. Our children go to school together and I usually run into her after drop off in the morning or on the subway platform. Its at that time I listen to her share the most vivid meal preparations-most of them I am unable to pronounce. This recipe however seemed family friendly for my crew and easy enough for me to repeat. I asked her to send it to me and I decided it would be that Sunday's dinner.
Fast forward to last week when I posted the finished chicken on Instagram because I was so amazed at how well this dish came out. I promise you in my entire family cooking tenure I have never cooked a whole chicken and nothing was left. My peeps do not like white meat but that was gone too!
You will see I didn't use the Cornish hens that Bridget (She's the B in B's Salted Chicken) calls for because all Target had were whole chickens. Also, what I thought was parchment paper on my kitchen shelf was in fact wax paper. Luckily I Googled to see if the two are interchangeable--THEY ARE NOT. There were multiple stories about how folks had smoked up their kitchen using wax paper. Clearly, I had to find another solution so I went with aluminum foil. I can only imagine how off the charts the bird would have been had I followed the below to a tee.
See the recipe below and enjoy!
2 Cornish hens (you can increase depending on family size)
1 lemon cut in quarters
1 onion cut in quarters
Fresh ground pepper
Sprigs of thyme or rosemary
Preheat oven to 425
After cleaning the hens, pat dry with paper towel and place on cutting board or platter.
Place the hen breast up and Sprinkle insides with salt and pepper, stuff the cavity with 1/4 of the lemon wedge, 1/4 of the small onion, 2 garlic cloves and one sprig to thyme or rosemary.
Rub the hen with enough olive oil to coat (about 3 tbsp).
Place the hen in the middle of a large square of parchment paper, fold the payment so the hen nests in the middle leaving top open (see pic at top right).
Generously salt the top of the hen
Place the parchment packets with the hens in a baking dish.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, reduce temp to 375 and roast for another 35-40 minutes until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 165 degrees and the skin is brown under the salt which should look "crackled" (see pic at right).
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
I've also included a picture of my #winning bird below. Seriously, when I look at it I get hungry all over again.