Middle Eastern Cornish Hens

Middle Eastern Cornish Hens

Up until now, I have only used my Baharat spice in braised chicken dishes, braised beef and braised lamb.  Tonight for dinner, I decided to cook my Cornish game hens using this popular allspice/cinnamon blend.  Did these ever come out tasty!   I ashamedly admit we ate every morsel, skin and all.  If you can’t get Aleppo Pepper (I order mine from Penzey’s Spices on-line), you can substitute dried Mexican ancho peppers.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

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2    1-1¼ pound Cornish game hens

4 T. unsalted butter  (use less if you need to cut calories)

1 tsp. my homemade Baharat Spice Blend

½ tsp. Aleppo pepper  (or dried ancho pepper)

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Optional:  1/2 tsp. sumac (if available)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt the butter in a saucer in the microwave.  Stir in the spices to mix well.  Split the hens in half up the back bone with a knife or kitchen shears.  This technique is referred t as spatchcocking or butterflying the bird.   Place the hens, pressed down and spread out on a baking rack that is set down into a baking/broiler pan.  Using a brush, baste the hens well with the spice-butter mixture.  Pop pan into 350º oven and bake for 1 hour.  Turn up oven to 375º and continue to roast for about 10-15 more minutes to brown the skin.   Watch them as ovens can vary.  When a meat thermometer poked in the center of the breast meat reads 165º they should be properly cooked.  Remove from oven and serve 1/2 hen to each person (men may want a whole bird).  This should pair nicely with any side dishes you like.  I served it with a saute of spinach and Kale and my Iranian Mint Cucumber Salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings (½ hen per person), each contains:

501 calories, 39.3 g fat, 0.62 g carbs, 2.50 g fiber, 2.12 g NET CARBS, 34.1 g protein, 347 mg sodium

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