Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4

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

Ratings & Reviews

karengra's Review

May 22, 2010
Looks like a nice dish. This site has a great version of this recipe

BethAnne's Review

February 08, 2009
Very tasty. I double the recipe and made the cornish hens whole (to avoid the problem the other viewers reported where the cut side gets too salty). They were delicious, quiet salty, but I like salt. Very moist. I served it with CL Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onion and stuffing with gravy.

amywalters13's Review

January 27, 2009
This was good. I used two cornish hens, cut in half, so I had four halves. I didn't double the rest of the ingredients, and STILL had some of the salt mixture left over. perhaps I didn't coat them as heavily as suggested. But they were still very good. I'd agree that the part of the bird sitting on the oval of salt did taste saltier than the rest of the bird, but all in all, this was delicious. and low-cal!!!