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Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze

Roasted cornish hens make a simple yet elegant meal... Be it holiday dinner for small family or a winter weeknight comfort dinner, these mini birds fit perfectly for a quick, effortless yet festive meal.

For a twist on classic, I flavored these birds with Indian spice - Garam Masala and sweetness of honey. Roasted to perfection and a perfect combination of heat and sweet, this recipe is sure to please even the hard core turkey lovers. ;-)

You know, whenever I roast a bird, I always make sure to put good use of flavor-explosion happening in roasting pan. In other words, I have to have a scrumptious side cooking on the side with roasted hens. :)

Yes, you guessed it right! I'm talking about some baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts cooking in "cornish hen - garam masala" flavor bath.... without even need of lifting a spoon! I mean, by the time hens roast to perfection, the potatoes are tender and packed with ton of flavor.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze Perfectly Sweet and Spiced for a weekday or holiday family dinner | chefdehome.com

Just like you, I'm very busy during the weekdays and often prefer something for dinner which needs minimum effort and is still has bold flavor. The cornish hens cook so fast and with very little marination, come out moist and juicy.... perfect for a easy dinner any weekday. 

Cornish Hens Twin Pack | chefdehome.com

In morning, just mix the garam masala marinade and apply on thawed and fully dried Cornish hens and then refrigerate for the evening. Just an hour before dinner, roast hens in oven with some baby potatoes.  By the time everyone ready for dinner, golden roasted sweet and spicy cornish hens will be also be ready to carve!!

How easy does that sound?

A normal weeknight meal feels like a holiday special meal and in so so less time!!

Grama Masala Roasted and Craved Cornish Hens for Holiday Dinner | chefdehome.com

Look at the gorgeous color of Garam Masala and Honey Glaze!! Aren't these looking perfect for any special dinner? holiday or weekday!!

Cornish Hen Marinade:

The marinade for hens is very simple yet packed with big punch of flavor. This marinade is true example of my fusion-kitchen. Indian Garam Masala is mixture of some warm ground spices and is very popular in Indian Cuisine. I was surprised when I learned that how popular Garam Masala is globally. This roasted hen marinade is kinda cousin of tandoori chicken minus the color. Not only it adds a nice aromatic flavor to meat.... kinda like five spice. A little goes a long way.

However, I highly recommend massaging the birds with marinade and lit it marinate for one hour or at least good 20 minutes. This will add lots of flavor skin-deep and really improves the taste of roast...... take it from fab to fabulous.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze Perfectly Sweet and Spiced for a weekday or holiday family dinner | chefdehome.com

The honey glaze on the hens is just a touch...... I wanted a kiss of sweetness to compliment the spices... but not overly sweet glaze. I have just glazed the hens once after first 25 minutes of cooking. If you like a darker and sweeter glaze, go ahead and brush honey-lemon on hens twice or three times.

I'm sure you all set to have great holidays. I'm happy to share one more recipe to make your family-time even more special. Don't forget to share your favorite holiday meals with me!

Enjoy! -Savita

A few more roasted Chicken/Hens from my Recipe Archive:

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Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze

Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 4 Servings Serves 4 Notes 2 Cornish Hens yields 4-5 servings depends on serving size.
Smart Swap Can't find Garam Masala? You can also use Curry Powder for this recipe!

Ingredients

    Roasted Cornish Hens
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala  
  • 2 Game Hen  (Cornish Hens, dried thoroughly)
  • 1 Lemon  (zest and juice divided)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil  
  • 1 tsp Paprika  (mild)
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt  
  • 1 tbsp Honey  
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning  
  • Sides/Garnish
  • 1 lbs Potatoes  (baby potatoes, sliced half, or use half Brussels Sprouts)
  • 3-4 tbsp Parsley  (fresh parsley, small chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil  
  • Salt and Black Pepper  

Directions

Hide Step Photos
  • Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    1. Preheat oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small mixing bowl, stir together salt, lemon pepper, garam masala, oil, paprika, and lemon zest. Set aside. Also, mix honey and lemon juice together and set aside.
    Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    2. I thawed Tyson Cornish Hens overnight in refrigerator. Once ready to use, in a rimed sheet, remove hens from lamination.
    Additional Notes
    .
  • Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    3. Discard any water collect in the sheet and pat dry hens completely with paper towel. A well dried bird roast beautifully.
    Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    4. Rub marinade all over the hens and also within the skin to infuse more flavor.
    Additional Notes
    For best result, let hens marinade for 30 minutes
  • Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    5. Place diced potatoes (and Brussels sprouts,if using) in the bottom of a baking sheet or wide dutch oven pan. Dress potatoes in 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    6. Place hens on the potatoes and roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    7. After first 25 minutes, brush the top with lemon-honey and return the pan back to oven to complete cooking.
    Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    8. Once roasted, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the juices run clear.
  • Step for Recipe - Roasted Cornish Hens with Garam Masala Honey Glaze
    9. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving. Cut hens in half lengthwise. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve!
Savita's Notes:

Don't overcrowd the hens on the baking sheets or the skin won't crisp properly.

One hen is perfect to serve two persons. However, for more-generous holiday-special portions, cook one hen per person. :) Marinade ingredients double easily, so make as much as you want!.

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4 comment(s)

  1. I never had cornish hens and these really look perfect! I suppose it would work with normal chicken as well, I cannot imagine finding cornish hens in Germany.

    Thanks, Adina! Cornish hens are really small and perfect for quick dinner. However, marinade will work perfectly for normal chicken or even turkey if you can find one. I hope you like it if you get chance to try.
  2. How much lemon pepper is used?

    Sharon, it will need 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper. I updated the ingredient list. Thanks for pointing it out.