I wrote this as I am wrapping up my 30-something-th episode of the Jane the Virgin on Netflix. That’s right, I’ve been binging but not in a hands covered with potato chip crumbs and chocolate smeared on my face kind of binging. But if I was binging on chocolate covered potato chips, would it be wrong? Those things are so yummy! Admittedly, the inner teenage girl in me fantasizes about romance (will Jane ever realize she wants to be with Rafael?? He’s such a hunk!) and relates to the trials and turmoil of early 20-something life (sorry, I still think Michael’s hiding something). Trust me, I’d rather watch it on TV than be living out baby-daddy-mamma drama (but can you even BELIEVE Petra did that??) so don’t judge me. Any fellow Jane watchers, I want to hear from you – but no spoiler alerts, please! I have two more seasons to watch.
Today, I’m bringing you a wonderful recipe for roasted chicken in the oven that will warm your whole house. This recipe also happens to make some of the best parsnips I’ve ever tasted. The secret is in the caramelized orange 😉 Aside from tasting amazing, this is a one pan meal which means there’s minimal cleanup and everything cooks at the same time so less work! Following the recipe quantities as shown below will yield two full dinners and extra veggies to have another night
- 2 pasture-raised Cornish hens *
- 4-6 cloves garlic, whole
- Handful of fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 orange, quartered
- 4-5 carrots, whole or halved
- 3 parsnips, quartered
- 3/4 pound petite medley potatoes, each pierced with fork or cut in half
- Ghee and olive oil (optional)
- Bird Spices: onion powder, dried rosemary, dried parsley, sea S&P (Amount of spices will vary depending on how large your hens are and whether you use the same recipe for a full-size chicken.)
- Veggie spice: 1 TB garlic powder and Sea S&P to taste
- Meat thermometer
Preheat oven to 375. Pan hens dry with paper towel and remove any innards if they came inside the cavity. Stuff each hen with half the amount of garlic, rosemary and thyme listed above. “Seal” each bird cavity shut with an orange quarter like shown before tying off the legs with kitchen twine. Use the back of a spoon or your hands to cover birds liberally with room temperate ghee and add bird spices listed above. Place hens in the tray breast-side down and roast for about 10 minutes while you get the parsnips, carrots and potatoes ready to add to the same pan.
Prep your veggies while the birds are in the oven getting a jump start on cooking. The vegetables will only take about 20-25 minutes to roast so we only want to add them at the end of the cooking process. Toss in olive oil or melted ghee and add to the pan before seasoning with the spices. Place the 2 remaining orange quarters in the corners of the your pan.
Cook for about 25-/+ minutes until birds reach an internal of 160 degrees when meat thermometer is placed in breast. If the veggies start to look done before the chicken then cover with foil or remove them from the pan. Once all is cooked, use tongs to squeeze your caramelized orange quarters over all the veggies and the birds to get the orange flavor. You can also do the same with the orange in the hens when they’re served. Enjoy!
*You can also try this recipe on a full-sized bird by bumping the temp up to 425, doubling the bird spices and giving it longer to cook through. I would estimate an 1 to 1.5 hours but using a meat thermometer is the best way to gauge when your meat is fully cooked.