I don't really recall how exactly, but I only recently learned that Cornish Game Hen is neither a game bird nor necessarily a hen. They're really just tiny little chickens with a specific parentage.... who knew? Well, presumably lots of people... but not me, which is what matters around here. What's great about them is how small they are (less than 2 lbs by definition) but unfortunately they can be much more expensive than a regular chicken. So even though they're just tiny chickens you can easily pay like they're something much more exotic... I guess marketing works, eh?
I got this recipe off of Serious Eats, and you can go ahead and read it there since I didn't make any changes to it other than cutting it half to serve one... since even though I'm married I'm functionally a lonely bachelor when it comes to eating meat. This is one reason why I love a small chicken... sometimes I don't want to eat leftovers all week, but I can't usually find anything smaller than 3.5 lbs, so that's why I'm kind of intriuged by the whole Cornish Game Hen thing. In addition to avoiding excessive leftovers, everybody says that smaller chickens are more flavorful, though I don't know if that applies to younger chickens necessarily (which Cornish Game Hens are).
The recipe itself is really simple and done in 30 minutes or less (no really!). You just got to cut the backbone out of the bird with kitchen shears and mince some garlic and rosemary and you are ready to go... which you can easily do as the oven preheats. It came out great with no real issues... but the one criticism I have is that I feel like the beans could have been jazzed up a bit... you just dump canned white beans into the roasting pan once you take the bird out to cool, but I didn't really have a whole lot of "accumulated juices" left to flavor them. They were fine and I like that they browned a bit as they heated up, but it just feels like they could have been something more... but then I've got no ideas, so who am I to judge?
This is a recipe that scales really well per person (1 Cornish Game Hen and can of beans for each guest) but at some point you'll run out of oven space. Seems like a good date night recipe since the presentation is pretty cute... or even a romantic dinner for one as I did (no I did not light candles!). Worth doing, at least to see what these Cornish Game Hens are all about.