Easy Roasted Cornish Game Hens With Harissa

Accidental Locavore Cornish Hens With Harissa and LemonThe Accidental Locavore just added Persiana to the cookbook collection. It’s loosely Middle Eastern. This was a supereasy recipe for poussins but Cornish game hens are much more available, so that’s what I used. For 2:

  • 1 large or 2-3 small preserved lemons, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup harissa (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Cornish game hens

In a food processor or blender, process the lemons, olive oil, salt, pepper and harissa into a fairly smooth paste. Taste and adjust harissa, salt and pepper to taste. Rub into the hens.

Accidental Locavore Cornish Hens With HarissaPreheat the oven to 425°. Place the hens in a small roasting pan or ovenproof dish lined with parchment paper. Roast for about 45-50 minutes until nicely browned on top and cooked through (juice will run clear if you pierce the thigh), 165° on an instant-read thermometer. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Great and super easy! I actually made the paste the day before and marinated the birds overnight in a Ziploc, so all I had to do was heat the oven and pop them in. Served over couscous with some of the sauce spooned over them and a little sautéed spinach on the side and this was a delicious weeknight, tired-cook dinner! I make my own preserved lemons-they’re so easy and good. That way they’re always on hand and for this, I just used one large one, which gave the marinade plenty of flavor. The harissa I use is on the mild side. If yours isn’t, adjust it to suit your taste. If it wasn’t winter, the hens might have gone straight to the rotisserie, or gotten butterflied and grilled (and probably will as soon as the weather is better). Having the hens also gave me the idea to taste-test between two well-known brands. Click here for the results.


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