When it comes to cooking meat in my house, it’s a constant battle. I don’t like pork and Zach doesn’t like lamb. I don’t care for ground beef and he won’t eat meat with bones. And we both hate everything about fish/seafood. I am told often that I’m much too picky but let me tell you, it’s not for lack of trying! I grew up eating all kinds of meats. My mom would make some great stuff with whatever is on sale (minus the fact that I hated the different meats). I also worry that because I’m so terribly picky that I think people will get bored with my cooking!
So, I decided that to liven things up a bit in the kitchen. I reached out to my friends in the Shrinking Jeans community for their thoughts. For this recipe, I polled them on what type of meat they would like to see next from me in the Shrinking Kitchen, staying open to the idea of meats I don’t really love. The winner by far was chicken but I got a few personal requests as well (look forward to some awesome pork chops soon). I wanted to do something fun, something that’s not boneless skinless. I can cook boneless skinless chicken a million different ways and I’ll never tire of it but I know a lot of people out there DO tire of it. I’ve heard it all. It’s so boring, it’s bland, or my favorite “I don’t even know what to do with it.”
So I went the crazy and fun route this time around (fully aware that Zach would not partake in this meal due to all the little tiny bones you have to eat around) and it was WORTH it! This chicken is just fall apart in your mouth tender but the best part is the crispy skin on top. That is my favorite part of a holiday turkey or a roasted chicken. The hen is just small enough that I don’t have to feel utterly guilty for eating the skin! (But you can pass on it if you’d like).
This dish is one of the few that I cook on high in a Crock-pot. I know on more than one occasion, I’ve come home from work and really wanted something in the Crock-pot but I just worry that the food won’t be as yummy and tender if I cook on high! (Silly, I know…) I was so pleased to discover that I was proved wrong with this simple choice of ingredients.
Make sure to mix up the accompanying salsa the night before so the flavors have time to blend. Serve the chicken with wild rice or some roasted/steamed veggies and top it with this sweet and spicy salsa for a gorgeous and simple dish.
Prep Time: 15 mins // Cook Time: 4 hours // Makes 6 servings
Crispy Slow Cooker Cornish Game Hen
- 3 Cornish Game Hens (cut in half)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- ½ tsp Mrs. Dash (I used the Jalapeno one for a little kick)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Red Pepper Mango Salsa
- 2 Ripe Mangoes (peeled/diced)
- 1 Red Pepper (diced)
- ½ medium White Onion
- 3 Tomatoes (diced)
- 3 Tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut and trim up the game hens. Mix up the salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Season the chicken by sprinkling from at least 8 inches above on both sides.
- Coat the Crock-pot with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the bottom with the garlic.
- Start stuffing the hens in the pot, bone side down.
- Cut the butter in 6 pieces and tuck each slab under the wing or leg of each half of chicken.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
- Once done, heat your broiler. Lay hens on a baking sheet, again, bone side down.
- Cook on the middle rack for about 3 minutes to crisp up the skin while leaving the insides fall apart tender!
For the Salsa:
- Mix everything together.
- Let it sit for a few hours, overnight if possible.