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Cornish Hens Under a Brick
Cornish Hens Under a Brick
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Derek Laughren

If you always order this dish whenever you spot it on a restaurant menu, you’re going to love our at-home version. Just make sure you give yourself enough time (about an hour) and save up your arm strength (it takes a little muscle to flatten these guys).

2 servings

1 Cornish hen

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 small sweet potato, finely diced

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone of the Cornish hen and remove it. Open the Cornish hen like a book and lay it out flat on a cutting board, skin side up.

3. Season the Cornish hen with salt and pepper. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat. Add the hen to the skillet, skin side down. Place another skillet (preferably a heavy one, like cast iron) on top of the hen. Apply pressure with your hands to press the chicken flat and sear it until the skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes.

4. Remove the top skillet and transfer the seared Cornish hen, skin side down, to a cutting board.

5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Add the red onion, sweet potato, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, oregano and thyme; toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place the Cornish hen on top of the vegetables, skin side up.

6. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the hen reaches 180°F, 35 to 40 minutes.

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