Friday, January 9, 2009

Roast Chicken with Garlic Mustard Rub

I bought these tiny little Cornish hens which were too cute to look rather than cook. They were so small that they would fit on your palm. However, for our New Years dinner I decided to cook them(finally) and the result was this. I had also roasted some vegetables with it which were a great accompaniment to any roast (I think). Enjoy!

Servings: 2


  • Cornish Hens - 2, whole
  • Garlic - 1 tbsp, crushed or paste
  • Dijon Mustard - 3 tbsp
  • Ketchup - 3 tbsp
  • Chili powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp (or to taste, remember the mustard will be salty)
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Butter - 1 stick/ 8 tbsp
  • Garlic - 1 whole bulb (for roast)
  • Vegetables of your choice*
  • 1. Wash and pat dry the chickens. Leave the skin on, as it will help keep the meat moist.
  • 2. In a bowl mix in all the ingredients except the veg. Rub the marinade on the chickens thoroughly. Make sure you also put some under the skin of the breasts and thighs.
  • 3. Let it marinade for about 24 hours, min of 2 hours. The longer you marinade the tastier it gets.
  • 4. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). On a roasting tray**, first place the vegetables (peeled and cut) that you want to roast. Open up the cloves of garlic from the whole bulb. Reserve 4 cloves and scatter the rest (skin on***) on the tray with the vegetables. Sprinkle some salt, pepper on top.
  • 5. Cut the stick of butter in 8 pieces (to make 8 tables spoons). Scatter around 4 pieces on top of the veg. Stick 2 remaining pieces of butter(breaking them in smaller dollops) underneath the skin of the chicken breasts and thighs.
  • 6. Stuff the cavity of each chickens with 1 piece of butter and 2 cloves of garlic. Use small metal roasting skewers to keep the legs close to the breast. You can also tie the legs with a pieces of kitchen string.
  • 7. Bake for about 1- 1.5 hour (20 minutes per pound of meat). Rotating the chickens every 15 min. If you do not want your chicken to be crispy on the outside, then after the 1 hour mark, insert a knife to the thickest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear, your chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the oven. Otherwise let it cook till the skin gets charred and crispy.
  • 8. Let the chickens rest for about 15 min before serving. Serve with a side of the vegetables roasted in the delicious juices dripping from the chickens
* I used 1 large onion quartered, 2 med potatoes cut in wedges, 3 large carrots chopped in 2 inch long pieces, 1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated.
** Line your roasting tray with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
*** Leaving the skin on while roasting, leaves the garlic flesh really juicy and sweet. It is also really easy and fun to peel them while eating. You can also use roast a lot more than a bulb in this recipe and reserve the extra for uses in other dishes. I use them in salads, pasta, sandwich spreads, etc.


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