Roasted Cornish Hens with Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce

These Roasted Cornish Hens with Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce will take center stage on your supper table.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce
Makes 6 servings
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 (about 1¼ pounds each) Cornish hens, giblets removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs, roasted garlic (see Kitchen Tip)
  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar, and pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon salt mixture.
  2. In a large baking dish, place hens; rub remaining salt mixture onto hens. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  3. Rinse hens; pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place hens on prepared pan. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with reserved 1 tablespoon salt mixture. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  5. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce. Garnish with thyme and roasted garlic, if desired.
Kitchen Tip: To roast garlic, cut ½ inch of top end of 3 garlic heads, keeping cloves intact. Place each head of garlic, cut side up, on a sheet of foil. Drizzle each with 2 teaspoons oil, and wrap in foil. Place on prepared pan with hens. Bake until softened and browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool and spread garlic pulp onto French bread, using as desired.
Mushroom-Crème Fraîche Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium fresh white mushrooms, quartered
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) container crème fraîche
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to soften and release their liquid, about 6 minutes. Remove from skillet. Wipe skillet clean.
  2. Add crème fraîche and cream to skillet, whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in chives, thyme, and mustard; gently stir in mushrooms. Serve immediately.
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