Cornish hens always seem a little fancier, but truly, I like the option of having small hens as opposed to one large chicken as it can save time in the oven. Whether for a weeknight or entertaining, these Spice Roasted Cornish Hens with Sweet Potatoes offer a cozy meal whenever you need it.
fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, or rosemary (optional)
3sweet potatoespeeled and sliced in 3 inch pieces
2turnipspeeled and sliced in 3-inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 425°F. 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.