At Ronco, we hope to make your holiday meal planning and prep just a little easier. We like our holidays to be about family, friends, and food…not stress!
If you currently own one of our Ronco Rotisserie Ovens, you already know what a fantastic rotisserie chicken you can make at home. But as we celebrate the holidays, how about kicking it up a notch with rotisserie turkey, duck, goose, quail, pheasant or dove? If you don’t own one of our rotisserie ovens, now is the time to grab one to help make your holiday meals a smashing success. (Check out our Showtime Rotisserie Sale HERE)
The science behind cooking the perfect rotisserie bird (or roast) is the continual turning motion of the rotisserie. This means that whichever type bird you choose to cook this holiday season is constantly being basted. It will keep the meat tender and moist, while the radiant high-heat perfectly roasts the skin to that crispy, evenly browned finish you’re hoping for.
This week we made some Cornish Hens. These hens make for great individual-sized portions and are elegant as well. Cornish hens are simply a smaller variety of chicken with a larger breast-to-bone ratio. They are available at most grocery stores. Although they are called Cornish Hens, they can be male or female birds. If you’re lucky enough to come across Cornish Game Hens instead of Cornish Hens, choose those. Cornish Game Hens, although similar to Cornish Hens, have a much deeper and richer flavor. But Cornish Hens are very delicious as well.
If you’re entertaining a smaller crowd this thanksgiving, try this recipe as an elegant easy dinner for 6.
Lemon Thyme Cornish Hens
Lemon Thyme Cornish Hens
• 6 Cornish Hens
• 12 Ronco Rotisserie Ties, or a roll of kitchen string
• 6 large lemon wheels
• 18-24 sprigs of fresh thyme
• 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
• 1 ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
• ½ teaspoon white pepper
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• ½ teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan pink if you have it)
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Seasoning and Trussing Instructions
- Wash Cornish hens inside and out and trim off tail. Dry hens completely.
- Stuff each hen with a lemon wedge, squeezing it a little inside the bird to release the juice. Add 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs to the cavity and close by trussing.
- Truss your hens by tying legs together and wrapping ties around the body of the hen, width-wise, securing the wings tightly and tying off.
- Make herb rub by combing all the herbs and spices in a small bowl.
- Rub each hen with a bit of the melted butter and herb rub.
Placement and Cooking Instructions
The trick to cooking 6 hens at a time is placement and securing them to the rotisserie spit individually.
Place one hen on one rotisserie spit with breast and legs facing outwards. You’ll end up with 3 hens on each spit rod.
- Take one trussed Cornish Hen and another rotisserie tie. Wrap tie length-wise across the body of the bird making a tight knot at the back of the hen. (Like tying a present) Place the Cornish Hen on a single spit, width-wise, then use the extra string, make a tight knot around the spit. This keeps the bird from rotating on the single spit.
- Repeat process by placing another hen on the other spit, breast out so the birds are back to back.
- Repeat the process with the 2 middle birds. Flip the birds so that they are oriented in the opposite direction of the first two.
- Repeat tying process with the two top birds.
- Place your prepared Cornish Hens in your rotisserie and cook for about 12 minutes per total pounds or until the internal temperature reads 165º F.
The best part is no carving or fighting over who gets the leg, breast or wing!
-Chef Paja Sanchez