Savory Roasted Cornish Hens With Roasted Garlic
|Cornish hens/Free range chicken||2|
|Freshly squeezed lemon juice||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Lemon pepper||4 Teaspoon|
|Plum tomatoes/Cherry tomatoes||4 Cup (64 tbs), quartered|
|Chopped fennel||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Chopped fresh basil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), lightly packed|
|Red wine||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Fresh rosemary sprig||4|
|For roasted garlic|
|Olive oil||1 Teaspoon|
|Fresh rosemary sprig||8 (For Garnish)|
|Lemon||1 , cut into 8 slices (For Garnish)|
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Rinse Cornish hens by allowing water to clean the cavity thoroughly.
3. Prepare a mixture of lemon juice, salt, and lemon pepper and rub it over Cornish hens. Allow to marinated for 1 hour or overnight.
4. In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, fennel, a little salt, basil, shallots, garlic, and red wine thoroughly.
5. Stuff each of the marinated hen with 1 bay leaf, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 lemon slice, and equal portions of tomato mixture in such a way that the cavity is full.
6. Using a spoon, transfer rest of the filling to a roasting pan bottom.
7. Place the birds atop the filling, with even spacing, topping with lemon marinating juice.
8. Sprinkle a little salt on the mixture and roast for 1 ¼ hours or until skins turn golden brown and juices run clear. If you are using chicken, roast stuffed chicken for 90 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, prepare roasted garlic. Arrange garlic bulbs, after cutting off ½ an inch from top, in a 9-inch baking pan containing water and olive oil. The cut side should come on the top. Cover with a foil or lid.
10. Once the hens are roasted for 30 minutes, place the prepared garlic and bake for 45 more minutes.
11. Transfer the oven to a board or platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
12. Scoop the filling out from cooled hens and add it to roasting pan with rest of the filling. Discard the bay leaves.
13. Keep the pan on low heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep scraping the bottom for browned bits.
14. Halve each of the hens directly down the spine center, slicing entirely through to the other side. Discard the skin, if desired.
15. Arrange the hens on 8 serving plates, with breast flat. Top each of the hens with the filling, garnish with a lemon slice and rosemary sprig.
16. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread slices squeezed with roasted garlic.