Deviled Cornish hens with potatoes and diable sauce

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 2
Deviled Cornish hens with potatoes and diable sauce

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Dissolve the dry mustard in one-half teaspoon water and blend into 6 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard. Set aside.


Working on one hen at a time, cut down either side of the backbone with kitchen shears or a sharp knife and remove the backbone. Lay the hen out, skin side up, on a work surface and press down hard on each side of the breastbone to butterfly the bird. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the hens, skin side down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until the birds take on some color (if the pan is too small, cook one at a time). Remove the hens to a platter and keep warm.


Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining oil. Add the garlic, onion, thyme and potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley.


Spread the potato mixture in a roasting pan or 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish just large enough to hold both hens in one layer. Arrange the birds on top, skin side up. Brush the skin of each evenly with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the panko to coat. Drizzle with the melted butter.


Roast the hens 25 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pricked.


As the hens cook, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard with the coarse mustard, ketchup, A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco to taste.


When the hens are cooked, run them briefly under the broiler to crisp the coating if necessary. Serve them with the sauce on the side.

Adapted from “Cafe Boulud Cookbook” by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan.

Get our new Cooking newsletter, coming soon.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.