Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Thaw 3 Cornish Game Hens.  Mine were still a little frozen the morning I wanted to get them started, so I submerged them in cold water for one hour, dumped the water and refilled pot to submerge them again in cold water for one additional hour.  They were completely thawed after that, but you can continue to dump and refill the cold water every hour until yours are thawed. 

Remove hens from packaging and rinse well, inside and out.  Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. 

In a small dish, mix:
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/4 to 1 tablespoon white or black pepper (depending on how much you like pepper)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dry parsley

Rub skin of hens with olive oil, just enough to lightly coat.  Sprinkle spice mixture into the cavity and rub into the outside of the hens.  Set the hens aside.  You can let them marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours to intensify the flavors.  I only had mine in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. 

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

In baking dish spread:
- 5 to 6 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into large slices
- 5 to 6 celery stalks, including leaves and cut into large chunks
- 5 or more stalks of fresh rosemary (I used all that was in the small box I got at the store and I think it was more like 7 or 8)

Place the hens on top of the veggies and tie the legs together with kitchen string or tin foil.  Cut small cubes of butter and stick four (or more depending on your preference) under the skin in various places of each hen. 

All ready for the oven
Place prepared baking dish into oven for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt some butter (stir in a little garlic powder  and seasoning salt if so desired).  After the hens have cooked for 15 minutes, baste with the butter.  Cook for a total of 60 minutes, basting with butter or olive oil (or pan drippings if there are enough) every 15 minutes. 

The skin was so crispy and the meat was very flavorful

After 60 minutes, check to make sure hens are thoroughly cooked and let them rest for 15 minutes before serving. 

I cut each hen in half, so this recipe served 6.  I did not serve the veggies except I gave some of the carrots to the baby, who enjoyed them!  A few of the remaining veggies went into omelets for my husband's weekday breakfasts and the rest (minus the sprigs of rosemary) of the veggies and pan drippings got mixed into the dog bowl for a tasty treat (the dog was very happy!). 

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