Roasted Cornish Game Hen (11.20.15)

Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 14:39:33-05

By Chef Vaughn Hobbs


  • 2 Cornish Game Hens
  • 2 T Chorizo Sausage
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 325.

Season Hens with Salt & Pepper *and seasoning of Choice
Stuff Hens with Chorizo Sausage
Cook at 325 until Internal Temperature Is 165 Degrees

Clementine Salsa

  • 3 Clementines (Or Tangerines) – Corse Chopped
  • 1 T Honey
  • 2 T Shallot – Chopped
  • 1/2 of a Jalapeno – Diced Small
  • 1 T Cilantro

Mix above ingredients and serve with hens.

A perfect Thanksgiving dinner

By Chef Vaughn Hobbs

To get a more flavorful turkey, instead of defrosting the bird in plain water, you can begin with brining the bird in a saltwater solution.  Brining will give the turkey a deeper flavor and more tender taste, and the process will assist with defrosting.

Use kosher salt or sea salt instead of plain table salt for brining, and adding ice to keep the turkey cool during the process.  For the brine, I bring to boil 2 C kosher salt and 1C brown sugar , one large onion peeled and cut in about 6 pieces… 4 rough cut stocks of celery and a small handful of sage… a couple of cloves of garlic and a couple of T of whole black pepper corns… non of these vegies don’t have to be peeled just washed!

When I first heard about brining, I laughed at the idea.  I thought it was silly and unnecessary, that is, until I tried it for myself.  Now, I brine my turkey before roasting every time.

You can use a HOME DEPOT bucket preferably new and rinsed out or really cleaned out J….to hold the turkey while brining, which can take anywhere from 16 to 24 hours depending on the size of the bird. Put the brine into the bucket warm but not still boiling – take the outside plastic wrapping off the turkey (if you use the giblets and the neck then thaw it until  you can get those out of both the neck and body cavities)…  place the bird in the bucket with the brine – and if almost thawed cover with ice and move up and down in the bucket a couple of time to mix the brine with the ice… if frozen just fill with cold water and move up and down to mix..  put a bowl on top of it with a brick inside of it to keep the bird under the solution..   move the bird up and down in the solution every couple of hours during the evening – hit the sack and when you get up in the AM toss all the giblets and the brine and rinse the bird good inside and out..  dry good in and out…

When stuffing, it is important not to pack the stuffing too tightly to ensure the turkey cooks thoroughly.  During cooking, juices from the turkey will pass from the bird into the stuffing, and if the turkey is too tightly packed, heat will not be able to pass through properly to cook the stuffing completely and kill any bacteria. NEVER stuff the bird the night before…. Always stuff and put into right away into the oven..

After you have properly thawed, seasoned and stuffed the turkey, it is now time to cook the bird.

On a half sheet pan with rough cut celery / onions / carrots on pan, place the turkey on pan coat with oil of melted butter and season with salt and pepper and into a pre heated 450 degree oven and as soon as you have placed the bird in the oven reduce the temp to 325-degree and cook 15 minutes per pound or until the juice runs clear when the turkey is poked with a knife at the base of the leg.  Allow to rest 15-20 minutes before slicing for a 10# bird up to 30 min. for a larger bird….  DO NOT TRUST ANY POP UP TIMERS (that will guarantee an overcooked bird) / always check bird with an instant read thermometer… take it to 165 – 170 and take out and rest – it will continue to cook and go up to the suggested 170 degrees needed to be ready to eat..

In the mean time you can take the stuffing out and make the gravy…

What I do for the gravy is take the roasting pan add a qt or so of  Chicken stock / white wine combo or just water put on a burner and stir around all the roasted vegies and drippings and bits on the bottom of the pan until loose and then pour into a pan let set for a few min. until the fat comes to the top.. and pour off the fat (there is such a thing as a fat separator that you can get from a kit. gadget store that makes this easier) or just get it off with a ladle.. keep the fat… and put in a fry pan and if you have 2 C of fat add 2 cups of flour and cook together until it is the consistency of wet sand and has taken on a nutty smell which is just before a burnt smell and flavor… if you get it to done – just use butter and flour..  add a little of this to the drippings and thicken to the gravy consistency that you like.. use a whisk to incorporate the two together… let this simmer for a good 10 or so min. to get the flour taste out of the gravy. and if you have lumps no problem just strain them out thru a sieve…  the best of the best chefs still use sieves… mine comes out lump free about 50% of the time.. the other 50% I strain and serve..:)

Stuffing’s (two of my favorites..)

Cornbread and chorizo
bake off some corn bread (dice and dry overnight)  – sauté in a stick of butter a diced large onion – and cook in a pan some chorizo

Approx. measurements

4 C corn bread - one large onion – one pound of pork chorizo

Here is the family recipe for stuffing

A couple of loaves of sliced white bread put out on cookie sheets overnight to dry out can put in oven with the light on too if you choose… tear apart into about inch pieces into a BIG bowl.
sauté ½ diced celery (doz. stocks no leaves) onions (4 large) in butter (about 2 #’s)

Add the veg. mixture to the bread mixture and mix while adding to incorporate both evenly together…

Add a whole bottle of rubbed Sage to the mix and garlic salt and pepper to taste…  if to dry add some chicken stock…

Stuff what you can in the two orifices of the bird and the rest just put in a pan and bake off for about an hour.. if one is dry and the other to moist just mix them together… I like the moist stuff from the inside of the bird..

Mashed pot..

Peel cut up and boil pot.. or just use red pot. And don’t peel (my preference) put into a elc. Mixer bowl

Add cream / butter / S and P and enjoy.

Cranberry sauce.. I like the jelled so I just do out of the can…  if you like the texture of the whole berries just get the fresh berries wash and use the directions on the bag to cook a day or so before so they are cool and ready to serve… basically you cook them in a sugar and water solution until they all pop and then cool them down and serve..  some people put herbs and spices in them I don’t..

MY Favorite yams..
Yams / sweet pot.. (either one works for me just a different color) and both are kind of cool for this recipe for the color contrast!!!

My favorite is peel and dice into about 1” dice  (8)

Sweet yellow onion Julian (long thin strips)  (2 onions)

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter 2-3 sticks

Real maple syrup  1 or 2 Cups

Toss all together in a large bowl to coat the potatoes and onions

Place in a 350 degree oven on a shallow pan and roast for about an hour turning over about every 15 min during the cooking process..

You can add sliced peeled apples if you like baked apples… that adds a nice contrasting flavor.. and texture.

As far as reg. veggies.. I like green beans – Fresh French (haricot vert) from Costco or Sam’s are my favorites.   Boil or micro like on the package add of course butter and salt and fresh pepper and enjoy.

Salads and rolls are up to you… dessert too is all you…

Have a great holiday it is truly my favorite holiday of the year (family / food and fun nothing better)…. And call me if you have any questions – use my cell phone below…

Hungry after typing all this up.. can hardly wait for Thursday.  Bon Appetite…  Have a great Thanksgiving.