This post is sponsored by Cavit. Inspire your pairings and recipes with new wine ideas.
Herb roasted Cornish hens with root vegetables might just be the perfect one pan, Thanksgiving dinner for two or a small group. Individual Cornish hens are crusted with fresh herbs, roasted on a bed of root vegetables and apple and served with a bottle of Pinot Noir.
Thanksgiving is a busy time for large family groups and lots of cooking. In the past, it has been just my husband and I for Thanksgiving and sometimes I don’t want to buy a giant turkey for two people. I also don’t need all the fuss of a big meal production, so I came across a solution.
A couple of years ago saw Cornish hens become popular and since they weigh about two pounds each they are perfect for individual servings. They’re also sold in a pack of two… how convenient!
I love roasting meats in a cast iron skillet. In this instance, the vegetables cook in the pan with the hens so it’s a one pan meal and serving the meal right from the pan not only cuts back on dishes, but makes for a lovely presentation.
I use a lot of herbs this time of year and there’s nothing better than a herb crusted chicken or turkey. I also use a lot of fresh apple cider in my cooking and for this recipe I mixed it with melted butter and brushed it all over the skin for that extra flavor.
It’s always nice to have a good wine that pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner. I’m excited to be working again with Cavit wines and pairing my favorite varietal of theirs, Pinot Noir.
Cavit Pinot Noir is a versatile wine that can be served with grilled meats, poultry, vegetable entrees and seafood. With its bold cherry notes and berry flavors, it stands up perfectly to the herby nature of this dish without overpowering the flavors of the dish, or vice versa.
- 2 Cornish hens
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon apple cider
- 1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1½ tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- ½ orange, cut into wedges
- 2 ounces carrots, peeled cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 ounces parsnip, peeled cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 pound yams, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 sweet apple, peeled and cut into wedges
- reheat oven to 375°F.
- Dry the skin of the Cornish hens.
- Mix the melted butter and apple cider in a bowl.
- Stir in the rosemary, sage, thyme, salt & pepper to the melted butter and mix well.
- Brush the butter mix all over the hens, inside and out and under the skin, reserve some of the butter mix for the vegetables. Add a garlic clove and orange wedges to each of the hen cavities.
- Tie the legs together.
- Add the carrots, parsnips, yams and apple to a bowl. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter and mix well so they are all coated.
- Spread an even layer of the vegetables in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or roasting dish.
- Set the hens on top of the vegetables and add and garlic around the hens and vegetables. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour and a meat thermometer measures 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the leg.