Garam Masala Cornish Hens With Roasted Vegetables

"I took Aida Mollenkamp's recipe for Garam Masala Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and changed it to suit my purposes (using cornish hens, etc). I also reduced the oil simply because I didn't think that amount was necessary. For this recipe it's really important to have a probe thermometer that can stay in the hens while they're in the oven. After a few changes, this ended up delicious! Hope you like it too."
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Ready In:
1hr 40mins
4 cornish hen halves


  • 1 12 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 12 tablespoon low-fat margarine, melted (I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light)
  • 5 12 teaspoons garam masala (divided)
  • 8 minced garlic cloves (divided, although adjust to taste, I always use more because I love garlic)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided, although adjust to taste)
  • 2 (22 ounce) Cornish hens
  • 34 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 34 lb sweet potato, peeled, large dice
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, large dice
  • 1 large red onion, large wedges
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 12 tablespoons fat free Greek yogurt


  • In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 tablespoon of butter, 4 teaspoons of garam masala, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger, 6 cloves of garlic, and 1 teaspoons of salt. Place hens in a large baking dish or plastic bag, loosen the skin from the breast and legs and, using your hands, spread a good part of the mixture underneath. Rub the remaining marinade inside the hen's cavity and over the skin. Loosely cover, refrigerate, and let marinate 30 min or up to 12 hours.
  • Remove hens from marinade and left any excess drip off. Let hens sit at room temp while oven warms up, about 30 minutes. Place probe thermometer into thickest portion of the thigh making sure not to hit bone.
  • Arrange the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  • Combine remaining 3/4 tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (more or less to taste) in a large bowl. Place cut vegetables in it and toss until the vegetables are well coated. Season veggies with freshly ground black pepper (to taste) Place at bottom of large roasting pan which has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  • Place hens breast side up on top of vegetables and bake for 15 min at 425 degrees F. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. When internal temperature hits 145 degrees F, brush yogurt on hens. Make sure to just do a thin and light coating of yogurt. You don't want it to be very thick. When internal temperature hits 160 remove from oven and loosely cover with foil. This is also the time to check the vegetables in the pan and make sure that they're done to your liking. If you'd like them softer, simply put the vegetables back in the oven while the hens are resting.
  • Let hens rest, covered, for 15 minutes which also insures that carryover cooking will take the temp up to above 165 degrees F, for example mine ended up at 166.4 degrees F which was perfect. If you're uncomfortable with this doneness, go ahead and roast until 165 degrees (which is the temperature which poultry must be at to be done and safe) and then let hens rest covered, for 15 minute After hens have rested cut each one in half, through the breast and backbone (I just use a big sharp knife or you could use poultry shears) so that each person gets a half a hen. Divide the vegetables among the four plates and serve with a simple green salad or some rice to round out the meal.

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