Cornish Hens, Elegant Yet Affordable

Small Chickens

Bred to appeal to foodies back in the 60’s, cornish hens make an affordable yet elegant dinner at $3.50 each.  They can easily be split in half to serve two.

Lay over a bed of wild rice blended with dried cranberries and pecan pieces and the level of elegance rises.

Add green beans, seared then braised in wine and you may just  find yourself placing candles and fine dinnerware on the table.

All for less than $8.00 a piece provided you have to buy everything at one time. But a good home chef always has items in their pantry to defray the costs.

Serving Two:
One Cornish Hen split in half after roasting/smoking $3.50 (Generally sold in packages of two, freeze one for later)
6 oz box Uncle Ben’s Original Wild Rice $1.99 (have several on hand)
1 lb generic bag of pecans $5.99 (have on hand)
6 oz bag cranberries $1.48 (have on hand)
1/2 lb of whole fresh green beans $1.50 (buy fresh or have frozen bags available)


Sprinkle Garlic Salt and Coarse Ground Black Pepper all over and inside the cavity of the cornish hen.

Smoke at 350° F for 20 minutes, then turn upside down, continue another 20 minutes. Continue this 20 minute process until the inside temperature taken in the thigh is 160°. Depending on the size of the hens, this could take at minimum of one to one and half hours. These shown above took 1:40 cooking time.

To roast in the oven, set the temperature at 350° F, and practice the same turning process as on a smoker.


About Pam Rauber

Photographer, Writer, Home Chef.
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