Cornish Game Hen with Whisky and Cream Pan Sauce


2 large Cornish game hens, 1 ½ to 2 pounds each
2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Herbs de Province
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, finely sliced
¼ to ½ cup of whisky (I used Jack Daniel’s)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


For the Cornish hen:
Preheat the oven at 450º and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
Place a hen, breast side down on a cutting board. Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with shears or large sharp knife. Flip the hen and flatten it by pressing down on the breastbone with your palm. Split the hen in two along the breastbone. Repeat with the remaining hen.
Place on a heavy baking dish and spread on each half, ¼ of a teaspoon of butter, Herbs de Province, salt and pepper and a drop of olive oil. Place in the hot oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Poke the hen while cooking to release any juices.
When done, remove from the oven, place the hen in a dish and cover with aluminum foil and let rest.
To make the sauce:
Place the unwashed cooking pan over the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Lower the heat and add the whisky, very slowly. With a wooden spoon scrape up any bit on the pan. Add the shallots and cook until tender, 1 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and raise the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add the heavy cream and the lemon juice. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot over the Cornish hen.


Cornish game hen is the perfect last-minute get together dinner meal. Easy to prepare and half of an hen is perfect balance between both white and dark meat. I always have two in my freezer.

The whisky sauce is an adaptation from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. Very easy yet delicious. The whisky evaporated as it cooks, leaving a wonderful bold flavor into the cream and butter. Cognac can be used instead of the whisky.

Rice was the perfect pairing. I added some wild rice just because I wanted something different.

We enjoyed a nice glass of Nebbiolo red wine alongside.

Bon Appetit!





Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 6:37am


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