Cornish hens have rich, delicious meat that is especially juicy and flavorful. Their size also makes for a perfect single portion, which makes Cornish hens a wonderful dinner party main course. If you'd like your Cornish hens to have golden, crispy skin on the outside, there is a simple technique you can use just as the birds are finishing in the oven. By keeping the birds covered throughout the cooking process and uncovering them in the last few minutes, the skin will become golden brown and crispy without overcooking the juicy meat inside.
Raise the temperature on the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit when there is 10 minutes of cooking time left for the Cornish hens. Remove the Cornish hens from the oven while the temperature rises.
Uncover the Cornish hens and use a basting brush to apply melted butter all over the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put the buttered Cornish hens back into the oven and cook for the remaining 10 minutes. The butter will cause the skin to slowly crisp to perfection instead of scorching.