Showing a Little Leg


Cornish game hens are not game birds but hybrid chickens.  Although I grew up eating these birds, I didn’t know that until today!  Never too old.


So I guess that’s why I immediately liked the French poussin; just another little chicken.


Haphazard in Honesdale, I sprinkled the hens with salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika and browned them in olive oil and butter.  A really large onion caught my eye, so I sliced it and some of the garlic cloves sitting next to it.  Other things happened and I ended up with Cornish game hens smothered in onions with mashed potatoes.


Cornish Game Hens Smothered in Onions

2 Cornish game hens, spatchcocked


Black pepper

Garlic powder

Smoked paprika

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 enormous onion, sliced

3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sherry

Season the hens with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.  Melt the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet, then brown the hens on both sides.  Remove the hens and place them skin side up in a roasting pan.  Tuck the rosemary sprigs around.

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet, then cook until the onion is soft and a little brown. Add the sherry to the skillet and boil for 1-2 minutes, then pour over the top of the hens.

Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil, place in a 400 F oven, roast for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to roast for another 10 minutes.

Divide each hen in two and serve with mashed potatoes.



About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Showing a Little Leg

  1. Mad Dog says:

    There is a Cornish Game hen breed, which is commonly crossed with a Plymouth or White Rock. They grow quite big and would have been used for cock fighting in the past as well as food, so in America I believe the term refers to young chicken, probably crossed with the above or other breeds. In the UK you are most likely to see small chicken labeled as poussin.
    I could eat yours with onion and mashed potato right now. I’ve got some pork with skin on, but it will take a couple of hours to cook 😉

  2. I love paprika. Never tried paprika and rosemary in same dish. Your dish looks really tasty. Love the title of your post! 😉

  3. Ooh yum – and I learned something new today from you which is always good 🙂

  4. Pingback: Showing a Little Leg | ARTE, PINTURA, LITERATUR...

  5. Diane says:

    that looks *wonderful* — I might try them over mashed parsnips, for a change of pace from potatoes. sure looks better than my bowl of yogurt, plums & nuts!

  6. arlene says:

    Your shots make me hungry 🙂

  7. Grace says:

    Lovely photos! I’ve seen Cornish hens in the freezer section but have always wondered what sets them apart from, well, regular chickens. Are they just smaller?

  8. Michelle says:

    “Haphazard in Honesdale.” Too funny. (And, judging by the photos, I don’t believe a word of it.)

  9. Beautiful dish Rosemary. I love a good chicken dish with mash potatoes. This sounds so very tasty. I’ve bookmarked it for later.

  10. Just wow! The instant I get an oven, I am so trying this.

  11. Is there anything better than beautifully golden chicken, smothered in onions, and served with mashed potatoes? No. No there is not. That is comfort food of the highest order.

  12. Conor Bofin says:

    Nice legs, if you will pardon the comment.

  13. Great title and great post!

  14. SIMPLY wonderful!

  15. Liz says:

    My hens are not quite Cornish and I am not sure about my spatchcocking skills but I’m totally going to make this for my dinner tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this scrumptious chicken recipe!

    • With kitchen scissors, cut up the back (you can cut out the back bone completely or just straight down the middle). Turn the chicken over and press down on the breast to flatten. Done!

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