Mom de Cuisine

French Fridays with Dorie: Olive Oil Cornish Hens
October 7, 2011, 12:01 am
Filed under: Main Course



I could have skipped my coffee the morning I made these Olive Oil Cornish Hens.  Cutting the backbone out and breaking the breastbone is not for the faint at heart; it definitely gave me an adrenaline kick.  When I first read the recipe, I thought it no big deal to cut the bones out of the hen to reduce the baking time.  However, when it came time to actually do it….lets just say I probably looked like a crazy person pacing back and forth in my kitchen, repeating over and over, “You can do it Alyssa.  Just man up and do this!” 

But once the gory part was done, the hens came together very quickly.   This last week was a very busy week, and this actually made the perfect weeknight meal. 

I didn’t use an olive tapenade, as Dorie calls for.  I’m not a fan of olives, and even my husband who loves olives wasn’t excited about using them with a roasted bird.  I was going to make Dorie’s pesto to use as a replacement, but like I said, it was a busy week so I ended up just buying a pesto instead.   This is another one of Ms. Greenspan’s recipes that I will be sure to make again and again.

Want to get this recipe?  You can buy a copy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan and cook along with the other Doristas in French Fridays with Dorie by joining here.

p.s. sorry for the terrible photos, I’m going to use the “it was a long week” excuse again 🙂





15 Comments so far
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Too funny, cutting up the hens was definitely a bit gory, but I’m happy to hear that you “maned up” and got through it 🙂

I bet pesto would be a great substitute here. I was also thinking about using a little garlic butter next time. So many possibilities…

Comment by oneexpatslife

Congrats on facing down the bird and winning! (It’s not my favorite thing either … actually, nothing involving a chicken’s nether regions is … so kudos to you!)

Comment by SoupAddict

Mmm…I’ll bet these were good with pesto. My tapenade lost a lot of flavor once it cooked, so I probably won’t season it that way again. Pesto sounds like a great idea, though!

Comment by Eileen

Congrats on powering through the gore! I am a big fan of your blog and I gave you a blogging award. Come check out on my blog:

Comment by Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook

You did a fantastic job with this dish!! Looks great!

Comment by Ramona

I bet they were so good with the pesto. It wasn’t all that bad cutting the backbone out and flattening the bird. I was also a bit worried about that part because I had never done it before. Glad you enjoyed the meal!

Comment by Elaine

Glad you enjoyed.
I am sure there will be mixed reviews on how the chicken-cutting up went… That was a tough one!

Comment by Cher

I love how this recipe is adaptable for any methods. I like your description of the adrenaline rush from spatchcocking the Cornish hens. I chickened (ha!) out and bought thighs instead.

Comment by Adriana @ GreatFood360°

Looks perfect! Weren’t these good? Even with the not-for-the-faint-of-heart prep involved! 😉

Comment by michelle

Taking out a cornish game hen is a bit of an ego boost. It was one of those that worried at me at first, but once I did it, I felt pretty good! We used a roasted pepper tapenade and it worked well.

Comment by Frankly Entertaining

LOL! I’m glad you managed to man up and made this delicious meal. I’m not familiar with cooking the whole chicken and I’m not sure when I can actually have courage to do so. You did a fabulous job!

Comment by Nami | Just One Cookbook

I think your photos look great! I loved this too, and pesto is a good substitite for the tapenade.

Comment by Cakelaw

Your dish looks yummy! Wow you bake 3 whole chicken? The recipe must be real good! I’ve never cut out the bone from the chicken, I don’t think I’ll ever do that! Most probably I’ll ask the chicken seller from the morning market to do it for me 😛 She’s a sweetheart and cleans the chicken real clean of skin and fats!

Comment by Shannon@JustAsDelish

Glad you were able to have them come together! I’m sure your pesto substitution was great. I was a little skeptical about the tapenade too, though it was tasty. They look yummy!

Comment by dulceshome

ahhh! I knew a couple of our regular bloggers were going to struggle with the breaking the bird and cutting out the backbone! Glad you made it through! 🙂

I can totally relate to a busy week! I was so busy cleaning for houseguests that I could put up my link but couldn’t comment on anyones posts or read them until now! … I wish we could pause time one day each week to get all those things you want and need to do out of the way so the rest of the week doesnt have to be so hectic! 🙂

Comment by Alice

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