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Roast Butterflied Cornish Hens

Instead of roasting whole birds, remove the backbone and flatten the Cornish hens before roasting. It cuts the cooking time by half, and makes it easier to carve on the plate.

2 Cornish hens, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds, backbones removed with kitchen shears
2 teaspoons butter, softened
Salt and pepper
Juice of a lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Breast side up, flatten the birds with palm of hand. Rub the skin of the birds with butter.

Place hens on a rack set over a roasting pan or jelly roll pan.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the birds. Roast 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and juices are still tinged with pink. Turn oven from bake to broil. Broil until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cut the birds in half with poultry shears.

Drizzle pan juices over the birds. Serves 2 to 4.

Marlene Parrish

Thursday, June 10, 1999

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