Soul Food Cornish Hens

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Get ready for another easy Instant Pot recipe that’s pretty much one of my popular Instant Pot chicken menu ideas

Except for this time, it’s soul food Cornish hens! Juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. These birds are fall-off-the-bone tender!

 

Soul Food Cornish Hens

 

What is a Cornish hen?

Is a Cornish hen just a small chicken?

While you may have heard of or even cooked a Cornish hen, you may not know exactly what type of bird it is?

Cornish hens are simply chickens. Just very small and not very old. They are not game birds – which are are wild-caught birds.

 

What’s the difference between chicken and Cornish hen?

Are Cornish hen and chicken the same?

The main difference is the age at which the two types of birds are eaten. 

 

So what are Cornish game hens?

Cornish game hens are the baby chickens cross between the Cornish and the White Plymouth Rock chicken. It’s a genetically small chicken with impressive meat for its size. 

 

What’s so special about a Cornish hen?

This baby chicken weighs in at under two pounds, making it a healthier and more manageable choice compared to a regular-sized bird. 

Cornish hens also have less fat and fewer calories than chicken, making them a healthier alternative. 

 

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Black Folks Soul Food Cornish Hens Recipe

 

What is a soul food Cornish hen recipe?

This soul food recipe is all about making Cornish hens the African-American way. The way Black people season and prepare chicken, so it’s moist, juicy, and full of flavor!

 

How to prepare these small birds for roasting

No matter how you choose to cook your hens, this recipe is designed to be packed with my favorite poultry seasoning blend. Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning combined with Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning. 

Make these little birds the star of the table and perfect for serving on special occasions from Easter dinner to Mother’s Day or everyday Sunday soul food dinner. 

 

What should you serve with this recipe?

Serve Cornish hens over a bed of rice or with sweet brown-sugar glazed carrots for a fantastic hearty and filling meal. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

How do you make soul food Cornish hens?

Roasted Cornish game hen is the perfect meal for those looking for a lighter option because it’s so versatile. It can be roasted, barbecued, pan-fried, or placed in the slow cooker. 

So, no matter how you like your chicken, there’s a good chance that Cornish game hen will fit the bill.

 

Kitchen equipment for soul food Cornish hens

 

Shop my kitchenware:

Instant Pot Duo  |  Instant Pot trivet rack (ones comes with the Instant Pot)  |   Pyrex measuring glasses  |  Kate Aspen heart-shaped measuring spoons  |  Amazon cutting board  |  Anthropologie dish towel  |  Amazon long serving platter  |

 

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Black Folks Cornish Hens Recipe

 

Ingredients for soul food Cornish hens

  • 2-3 1 ½-pound Cornish hens
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning or similar (Contains soulful flavors such as paprika, mustard seed, garlic powder, onion powder, bell pepper, lemon juice, and of course salt and black pepper all in one!)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic salt  Weber Seasoning, Roasted Garlic & Herb (or similar)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped fresh parsley to garnish – optional
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish – optional

 

Instructions for soul food Cornish hens

  1. Mix the Famous Dave’s seasoning and the roasted garlic & herb spice in a small bowl to create the Southern spice rub.
  2. Combine the seasonings into one mixture and rub it onto the hens to coat them.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot.
  4. Then open the Instant Pot lid then place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the inner pot.
  5. Place the hens inside the inner pot with the broth.
  6. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
  7. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  8. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  9. Baste the hens by using a large spoon to scoop the pot or pan juices from the inner pot over the top of each hen.
  10. Use the trivet rack’s handles to easily remove the hens from the inner pot.
  11. Place the finished hens on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.
  12. Optionally, reserve the remaining chicken broth in the inner pot to pour over the Cornish hens as you serve them and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or thyme sprigs. (I also like to pour the broth over rice!)
  13. Serve Black folks soul food Cornish hens right away, and enjoy!

 

Black Folks Cornish Hen Recipe

 

What should you serve with soul food Cornish hens?

What goes good with Cornish hens?

There are numerous ways in which you can prepare these little birds. But what should you serve with them? 

Here’s a list of a few soul food menu favorites that pair perfectly with Cornish hens.

 

Wondering can you just use a whole chicken and not the Cornich hens?

Yes, check out this easy recipe for Instant Pot Southern-style chicken!

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It's more than just a traditional chicken recipe - flavorful, tender & juicy - it's more of a soul food kick!
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Soul food Cornish hens FAQs

How long do you cook Cornish hens?

To cook a Cornish hen with the Instant Pot, place the seasoned hen in the inner pot on the Instant Pot trivet rack and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.

 

What is a Cornish hen?

 

How would the recipe change if you only cooked one hen?

You can fit up to 3 hens in a standard-size 6-quart Instant Pot, and the cooking time does not change for 1, 2, or 3 birds in the pot.

 

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How do you keep Cornish hens from drying out?

By adding water or chicken broth.

 

Can you add some chicken stock instead of chicken broth?

Yep, an easy and seamless substitute is chicken stock for chicken broth. Or water with a chicken bouillon cube.

 

What is the name brand of the Italian herb seasoning, and where can you find it?

I used Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb for this recipe. You can find it at most local grocery stores and military commissaries. It’s also available on Amazon HERE

And Aldi makes their own brand of this seasoning which is just as delicious!

 

Soul Food Cornish Hen Recipe

 

Do you cook Cornish hens breast up or down?

These hens are usually cooked by placing them breast side up if you’re using a roasting pan. When using the Instant Pot, it will not matter much at all, breast up or down.

 

Should you cover Cornish hens with aluminum foil while baking?

Do you cover the hens when roasting?

Yes, cover Cornish hens with foil! 

When baking Cornish hens, the one thing you don’t want to do is dry them out. Unfortunately, this can happen when the hens are left uncovered in the oven. 

Covering Cornish hens with aluminum foil while baking keeps them moist and tender. The foil traps the heat and moisture inside the bird. 

Pro tip: You won’t have to worry about covering or not with the Instant Pot pressure cooking method.

 

 

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Do you preheat before cooking the little hens?

Preheating the oven is best because this step helps ensure that the temperature is consistent. Again, not a concern when using the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

 

Can you cook it from frozen?

Instant Pot is the best option when cooking frozen game hens because the high-pressure forces liquid into the meat, resulting in a juicy, tender Cornish game hen. And intensifying the recipe’s soulful flavors!

Note – the cooking time will need to increase for pressure cooking Cornish hens from frozen.

 

Soul Food Cornish Hens Recipe

 

How to plate Cornish game hens for an elegant presentation?

Why should you make this sou food Cornish hen recipe?

First, for the beautiful presentation! Because we all start by eating with our eyes!

So if you’re hosting a dinner party and want to impress your guests with something special, Cornish game hens are the perfect entrée. 

Besides being delicious, they have an elegant appearance that enhances the beauty of your table.

First, start by deciding where to place your Cornish game hens on the plate. You can either put them in the middle of the plate or off to one side. Usually, it’s best to arrange for them all to face the same direction.

Once you’ve decided on a placement, it’s time to garnish! For example, you might add fresh herbs like chopped fresh parsley, fresh thyme sprigs, or rosemary sprigs for flavor, texture, and color. 

Another option is to drizzle a little bit of chicken broth over top of the game hens. It will add extra flavor and make them look even more appetizing!

Even fancier is a stuffed Cornish hen filled with cornbread stuffing!

 

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Pro tip: Your selection of pretty serving platters will also contribute to a beautiful presentation!

 

What do you think of this recipe?

This soul food Cornish hens recipe always takes my taste buds on a trip down memory lane because one of grandma’s signature dishes was Cornish hens and pastry. 

So if you’re not from the Carolina states, that’s chicken and dumplings made with Cornish hens. 

This vintage roasted poultry dish is a showstopper, and it’s sure to impress at your next dinner party.

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

 

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Soul Food Cornish Hens

Soul Food Cornish Hens

This soul food Cornish hens recipe is made the way Black folks season and prepare chicken, so it's moist, juicy, and full of flavor!
The only thing these little birds lack is less fat and fewer calories compared to chicken!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food
Keyword: Black folks Cornish hen recipe, Cornish hens, Instant Pot chicken recipes, Instant Pot recipe, soul food Cornish hen recipe, soul food Cornish hens, soul food Cornish hens recipe
Servings: 4 people per bird
Calories: 345kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot trivet rack

Ingredients

  • 1-1 ½ pound Cornish hens up to 3 hens
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning (or similar)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb (or similar)
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped fresh parsley to garnish – optional
  • 5-6 sprigs thyme fresh sprigs of thyme to garnish – optional

Instructions

  • Mix the Famous Dave’s seasoning and the roasted garlic & herb spice in a small bowl to create the Southern spice rub.
  • Combine the seasonings into one mixture and rub it onto the hens to coat them.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot.
  • Then open the Instant Pot lid then place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the inner pot.
  • Place the hens inside the inner pot with the broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Baste the hens by using a large spoon to scoop the pot or pan juices from the inner pot over the top of each hen.
  • Use the trivet rack’s handles to easily remove the hens from the inner pot.
  • Place the finished hens on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.
  • Optionally, reserve the remaining chicken broth in the inner pot to pour over the Cornish hens as you serve them and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or thyme sprigs. (I also like to pour the broth over rice!)
  • Serve Black folks soul food Cornish hens right away, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 7300mg | Potassium: 434mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
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Nutrition Facts
Soul Food Cornish Hens
Amount per Serving
Calories
345
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
24
g
37
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
10
g
Cholesterol
 
173
mg
58
%
Sodium
 
7300
mg
317
%
Potassium
 
434
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
0
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
30
g
60
%
Vitamin A
 
501
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
31
mg
3
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Cyrene
    June 16, 2022 / 4:54 pm

    5 stars
    Our stores here don’t sell this type of chickens. This recipe will surely be a star to any occasion.

    • June 17, 2022 / 1:38 pm

      5 stars
      Oh wow! I hope you can find these little birds and make this recipe.

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