Spice Roasted Cornish Hens with Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4 | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 50 minutes


2 Cornish hens
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1 lemon, halved
fresh herbs such a thyme, oregano, or rosemary (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in 3 inch pieces
2 turnips, peeled and sliced in 3-inch pieces


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly pat the hens dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, paprika and salt. Season the cavities with a little salt and spice mixture, and insert half a lemon and a sprig of fresh herbs, if using. Truss the hens by folding back the wings and tying the legs together with kitchen twine. Brush the hens with melted butter, and season generously with salt and spice mixture. Place in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan, and surround the hens with the sweet potatoes and turnips, also brushed with butter and seasoned with salt and remaining spice mixture.

Place in the middle rack of the oven. Roast the hens for 50 minutes to 1 hour; until the skin is bronzed and the internal temperature in thickest part of the thigh is about 180 degrees.

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