Sometimes, chicken and turkey get a little boring. But because I have such a picky palate where meats are concerned, my options are limited. Enter…. Cornish game hens!
These delightful little birds are a great way to mix up the menu a bit and still get your protein with plenty of flavor. The blend of spices really brings out the flavor of the meat and gives it a middle eastern flavor that would be perfect served with a side of chickpeas and vegetables.
The best part is that you don’t have to tend to this much. While it doesn’t cook for very long, it’s still a hands-free dish because you get to cook it in your slow cooker.
I used a 5 quart slow cooker for this. If you have a smaller or larger pot, you may have to increase or decrease your cooking times respectively. I recommend keeping an eye on the birds occasionally as you near the 2 to 2 1/2 hour mark. The ends of the birds (neck and tail area) will start to look a little dry. At that point, you should check the temperature with a meat thermometer. It should be at least 165 F. in all areas.
- 2 game hens
- 1 medium orange
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- Place the hens in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Cut the orange in half, then cut off one slice and set aside. Squeeze the rest and reserve the juice.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the spices.
- Stir in 1 tbsp. of the fresh orange juice and mix to create a sort of paste.
- Smear the herbs over the tops of your game hens.
- Cut the orange slice in half, and place the halves on top of your game hens.
- Add 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice to the bottom of the slow cooker. But do not pour it over the birds. You don’t want to rinse off any of the spices.
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until the birds reach at least 165 F. on a meat thermometer.