Think of this as an individually sized variation on roasted chicken with gravy, a soul-food staple. Serve with collard greens and buttermilk mashed potatoes.
A smaller, leaner Cornish hen will not work as well in this recipe.
Servings: 1 - 2
- 1 1 1/2- to 2-pound Cornish hen, patted dry (giblets removed)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth or white wine
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an 8-by-8-inch ovenproof glass baking dish.
Place the hen on a clean cutting board. Rub with the oil inside and out; season liberally with salt and pepper inside and out. Then lightly rub the chicken inside and out with the butter. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary on and inside the bird and place in the baking dish; bake for 35 to 40 minutes. For the next 10 to 15 minutes of oven time (bringing the total baking time to 45 to 55 minutes), baste the hen every 5 minutes with pan drippings until the hen is nicely browned and registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Transfer to a plate while you make the gravy.
Place the still-hot baking dish with pan drippings on top of the stove (not over any heat). Sprinkle the flour evenly over the drippings and use a whisk to mix well. Slowly add just enough of the chicken broth or white wine to form a smooth gravy, whisking until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Pour the gravy over the chicken; use a spoon to redistribute any gravy that has mixed with accumulated juices from the resting hen. Serve warm.
Adapted from Charles Lyons, a chef at Georgia Brown's restaurant in downtown Washington.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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