Masala Cornish Hen
Recipe type: Curries
A whole bird as a WOW factor, whether it’s a Hen, Chicken or a Turkey. Cornish Game Hens are easy to handle, very tender and juicy and the flavor of the meat is just incredible. A great alternative to the turkey at Thanksgiving and it definitely requires less work – this is a must try. The other reason why we love this dish is that the leftovers make a Fun, Fantastic, Fabulous, Flavorful Sandwich filling! It just does not get better than this :) Happy Holiday to everyone!
- Cornish Game Hen – 1 (or 2)
- Potatoes – 2 medium, cubed
- Carrots – 1, cut
- Lemon or Lime Wedges – for garnish
- “Dry Spice Mix”
- Star Anise – 1
- Cinnamon Stick – 1″ pc.
- Whole Cloves – 4
- Green Cardamom – 3
- Black Cardamom – 1
- Whole Black Pepper – ½ tbsp (or to taste)
- Dry Red Chili – 2 (or to taste)
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Cumin – 1 tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Seeds) – ¼ tsp
- -In a heavy-bottomed skillet, dry roast- Star Anise, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, Green Cardamom, Black Cardamom & Whole Pepper. Give them a couple of minutes.
- -Add in the balance of the ingredients and allow them to roast and get a color. You should be able to get the aroma.
- -Turn off the stove and transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down.
- -Once cool, grind in a spice grinder and add Salt (approx 1 tsp) to taste.
- -Mix well and keep aside.
- “Wet Masala”
- Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
- Garlic Cloves – 6
- Ginger – 1 tbsp (approx)
- Green Chillies – 6 (or to taste)
- Onion – ¼ of a large onion
- Cilantro – 12 sprigs (leaves and stems)
- -Blend the above “Wet Masala” into a smooth paste without using any water.
- -Add Salt (approx 1 tsp) to taste and set aside till ready to use.
- Defrost the Cornish Hen in the refrigerator overnight.
- Take it out of the packaging, wash and clean well.
- Remove any innards and unwanted parts.
- Use a paper-towel and pat dry the Hen very well, including the cavity.
- Take a fork or a knife and poke hole in the Hen to allow the marinade to penetrate thru and flavor the Hen.
- Apply the “Dry Spice Mix” in the cavity and between the skin and the flesh of the Hen.
- Mix the balance of the “Dry Spice Mix” to the “Wet Masala”.
- Rub the Marinade well all over the Hen.
- Wrap the Hen in a Saran Wrap tightly and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prep and cube the Potatoes and the Carrots.
- Lightly grease an oven proof metal or a glass dish to bake the Hen.
- Place the Vegetables at the bottom and gently place the Hen on top.
- Mix a little more marinade if any of the spots look dry.
- Cover with a foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Once done take it out and make sure the Hen is okay and not drying up. Baste with the sauce if needed.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for another 45 minutes (checking every 15 minutes).
- Once done, take the Hen out and move it to another oven-proof platter/dish.
- It goes back into the oven on ‘high broil’ for 3-5 minutes till it gets a little color. Please keep an eye on it.
- In a small skillet, pour the liquid and thicken it by cooking it down (or by adding the balance Masala mix or a little bit of Corn Starch).
- Add the vegetables and allow the Masala to coat them and transfer to a serving platter (around the Hen).
- Garnish with a few Lemon or Lime wedges and serve hot.