ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Salt-Crusted Herbed Cornish Hen

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 2 servings (serving size: 1 hen half)
A mixture of kosher salt and water with the consistency of wet sand is packed onto Cornish hen halves to form a hard crust that is chipped off once cooked. The resulting bird is moist, tender, and flavorful. Garnish with extra herbs and lemon slices.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hen
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (3-pound) box kosher salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 211
  • caloriesfromfat 33 %
  • fat 7.7 g
  • satfat 1.7 g
  • monofat 3.4 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 32.3 g
  • carbohydrate 1.7 g
  • fiber 0.2 g
  • cholesterol 146 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 793 mg
  • calcium 32 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from hen. Split hen in half lengthwise. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine juice, oregano, thyme, oil, pepper, and garlic; rub herb mixture under loosened skin and rub over breast and drumsticks.

  3. Line a jelly-roll pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Combine 1 cup water and salt. For each hen half, pat 1 cup salt mixture into a 1/2-inch-thick oval shape on pan. Coat each salt oval with cooking spray; top each with 1 hen half, breast side up. Lightly coat hen halves with cooking spray; pack remaining 3 1/2 cups salt mixture evenly over hen halves.

  4. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Tap salt to loosen; discard salt mixture. Discard skin.