One of our local markets had a pretty darned impressive special sale on Cornish Hens, and, as it happened, I had just seen an old episode of The Two Fat Ladies where they made one fine looking piece of poultry. Well, I believe they made eight fine looking PoPs; I settled on just two.
I should note that, while my hens were moist and quite tasty, they did not even approach something I would consider deviled, so take that into account if you choose to make them thus.
•2 Cornish hens, spatchcocked
•4 oz butter (one stick), divided
•1/2 tsp Colman’s dry mustard
•1/4 tsp hot sauce OR Cayenne
•1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•6 slices bread, crusts removed
– I used some day old Honey Rye
Spatchcock the birds by cutting down the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears and flattening them. Some folk remove the backbone entirely; I usually don’t bother, especially with a Cornish Hen.
Allow 2/3 of the butter to soften in a bowl, then stir in the mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper until well combined.
Lay the birds out in a baking dish and rub in the seasoned mustard mixture thoroughly. Mine got kind of gloppy and was beginning to stick to my hands as I did it. The next time I attempt this, I believe I will whisk the seasonings into melted butter and paint the birds with it.
Cover the birds with the thin slices of de-crusted bread and dot the top with the remaining butter. Clarissa (one of the Two Fat Ladies) advised breaking the bread into small pieces, perhaps I should’ve just used some of my breadcrumbs instead.
Irregardless – covered in lightly buttered bread, bread pieces, or crumbs, pop your hens into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until the birds are done.
Keep an eye on them and cover with foil if the bread begins to burn – I covered mine after 20 minutes, then popped ’em back in the oven for another 30.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then serve.
I chose to use the bread as a crispy base to soak up the juices on the plate, and we had our hens with fresh mashed potatoes and haricots verts with shallots.
Lovely, juicy, TASTY Cornish Hen.
Just not particularly devilish.