Whole Cornish Hens Deep Fried

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This is how I like to make my Cornish Hens. With Di Neal's Master Brine Recipe for meats, it is perfected. Watch the birds as they cook. Different shape and thickness can cause the same weight hens to get done at different times. The cook time does not include making the brine.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   master brine (#11266 by Di Neal highly recommended) (optional)
  • add   1 teaspoon garlic powder (granduals preferred)
  • add   2 Cornish hens (1 lb each)
  • add   vegetable oil or peanut oil (for frying)
  • add   1/2 cup flour
  • add   salt and pepper (don't forget the brine is highly salted if using)

Instructions

  1. You need a tall narrow pot that will accomadate two hens with oil and still not be much more than half full.
  2. To see if your pot is big enough, put the hens in and fill with water to cover the hens.
  3. Make sure they can move easily and they are not tightly packed into the pot.
  4. Remove them and check water level.
  5. The water level is the amount of oil you will need to deep fry the hens.
  6. Make Master Brine if using.
  7. Rinse hens well with cold water.
  8. Add to cooled brine.
  9. I put them in a tall canister type bowl and the brine covered them completely.
  10. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.
  12. Pour off brine and dry the hens with paper towels inside and out (important to keep oil from boiling over.).
  13. Leave them in a colander to drain and come up to room temp.
  14. DO NOT LEAVE THEM SITTING AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
  15. Once they reach room temperature, you need to go ahead and cook them.
  16. Heat oil to 375º.
  17. While oil is heating, mix 1/2 cup flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  18. Lightly coat the first hen in the seasoned flour and shake off excess.
  19. When the oil reaches 375º, hold the hen by the legs and slowly lower it into the hot oil.
  20. Do this slowly to prevent the oil from boiling over.
  21. Once the first hen is lowered completely, coat the second hen.
  22. By the time you have the second hen coated, the oil temp should have come back up a little and you can go ahead and lower it into the oil with the other hen.
  23. Move the hens around making sure all sides are cooking evenly.
  24. The hens cook completely in 25 minutes or less.
  25. They will be a light golden brown.
  26. To hold the hens for 30 minutes, heat oven to 200º while frying and place a wire rack over a pan.
  27. Place the hens on wire rack in warmed oven.
  28. If you desire additional seasoning, you can add it to the flour before coating the hens or inject the birds.
  29. I don't recommend the injection because of the boil over possibilties with the hot oil.