Butterflying a Cornish Hen

When you butterfly your chicken, it greatly reduces its cooking time.

Roasted Cornish hens are great stuffed, of course, but for quicker cooking, butterfly them. Butterflying simply means removing the backbone so the hen can be opened up like a book and laid flat. The greater surface area exposed when the birds are flat allows them to cook faster.


1. To butterfly a Cornish hen, place it back side up on a cutting board.

2. Using poultry shears, cut closely along one side of the backbone.

3. Repeat on the other side; discard backbone. Turn breast side up.

4. Open the bird so the drumsticks point out. Press the breastbone firmly to flatten.


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