Provisions: Roasted Cornish Hen

This Friendsgiving, we're skipping the turkey and roasting up single-serving Cornish hens. The man behind Blade & Skillet shows us how
November 18, 2015Words by Liv Combe

If you live far away from family and you haven’t started having kids of your own yet, then chances are that you, like us, are celebrating Friendsgiving this year. And what makes any Friendsgiving a hit is a delicious, homey, sticks-to-your-bones meal that will have you still digesting long after the football game is over and your pals have all headed home.

This year, we teamed up with Blade & Skillet — a healthy, tasty recipe hub for the young professional who’s more than a little strapped for time — to create the menu for this year’s Friendsgiving: roasted Cornish game hen with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans. We promise it’ll rival the best turkey dinner your mom ever made. 

Blade & Skillet is as much a lifestyle as it is recipes.

Although he’s been cooking “pretty much from the point I could see over the countertop,” Dorian Burns-Coyne, the founder and man behind the chef’s apron of Blade & Skillet, never thought he’d be doing it professionally. “I didn’t want to devote my entire life to cooking,” says Burns-Coyne, “which is why I started Blade & Skillet. It's as much a lifestyle as it is recipes.”

When Burns-Coyne moved to Toronto to work in advertising, he lived right next door to his agency and still didn’t have time to make meals. “I’d go home after work and I’d spend as much time looking for something to make online as I would cooking it,” he says. “I kept thinking that somebody had to come up with a solution, since there was nothing that really appealed to young professionals and people with busy lifestyles.” 

And in 2011, Burns-Coyne decided that he would be the one to come up with that solution. After all, he was more than qualified: he knew how to cook, he knew the lifestyle people were living and what kinds of food they wanted to make (and show off on Instagram), and, from his work in the ad industry, he had a good number of connections to help get a fledgling business off the ground.

In the fall of 2014, Blade & Skillet was officially launched, giving those who are going, going, going long past the nine-to-five parameters a surefire destination for healthy, easy recipes (90 percent of the recipes on Blade & Skillet take 30 minutes or less to prepare). 

You don't need to be a Michelin-starred chef to cook what we have. All you need is a knife, a pan, and basic ingredients you already have.

“You don’t need to be a Michelin-starred chef to make whatever it is we have,” says Burns-Coyne. “All you need is simple stuff — a knife, a pan, and basic ingredients you already have around.” Enter the roasted Cornish game hen, a classic poultry dish and a damn good alternative to turkey for this year’s Friendsgiving.

“I don’t know about you and your parents, but my mom freaks out every holiday when she has to cook a giant bird,” says Burns-Coyne. “It’s pretty intimidating and too much of an endeavor, especially if you don’t have any of the equipment. I wasn’t even going to take a chance at that, so I just had to think, ‘What’s easier?’”

The immediate answer was Cornish hens, which are essentially incredibly convenient, personal-sized chickens. Whether you have four people over or 20, you know exactly how many birds to get. Don’t want a whole one? Cut it in half. Want more? Eat half of another one. Boom. Rinse and repeat.

And don’t worry about finding the best cooking techniques for Cornish hens — Blade & Skillet has already done the leg work for you, sifting through the dozens (hundreds?) of online videos out there and narrowing it down to the absolute tastiest way to wow your guests at Friendsgiving this year. All that’s left for you to do? Make a quick trip to the grocery store, plow through ten minutes of prep work, and crack open a cold one. What’s not to be thankful for? [H]

Editors Note: Want to see more from Blade & Skillet?
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Photos courtesy of Blade & Skillet

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