If the hens are part of a large meal, halve them lengthwise after cooking, as instructed here, to serve eight. If the hens are the only entree, double the recipe and use two roasting pans to serve each guest a whole hen. Look for fresh or frozen unripened (sour) grapes at Middle Eastern grocery stores or use lime juice.
|4||medium onions, thinly sliced|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1½||tablespoons ground turmeric|
|1¼||pounds fingerling or other baby potatoes, halved|
|3||medium carrots, cut into 1½-inch lengths|
|4||Cornish hens (1¼ to 1½ pounds each), giblets removed|
|Salt and pepper|
|½||cup fresh or frozen unripened (sour) grapes or the juice of 2 limes|
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a large roasting pan.
2. In the pan, combine the onions and olive oil; toss well. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of turmeric and toss again. Add the potatoes and carrots. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the vegetables.
3. Sprinkle the hens with salt, pepper, and the remaining ½ tablespoon of turmeric. Place the hens, breast sides up, on the vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the grapes (or lime juice) over the vegetables. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees. Total roasting time for the hens is 50 to 60 minutes.
Adapted from Mohammed Fotouhi