Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Product review: Perdue Oven Ready - Cornish Hens

If you have read my earlier post on Perdue Oven Ready products, you will know that I love the ease with which you can now prepare homemade chicken for your family. Oven Ready is a new line by Perdue that provides the busy housewife with chicken all ready for the oven. I previously sampled their whole fryer, but for the holidays decided that Cornish hens would be a nice treat.

My local Kroger had the Cornish hens on sale for $7.99 for two in the Oven Ready pack. I stored them in the fridge because I planned to use them the next day. I decided to prep both hens and save one to eat cold. That way, we only needed to heat the oven up once, saved some energy and eating cold chicken is something no one in my family ever grows tired of.

Below are the step by step instructions for how easy and quick (in actual work time) preparing two Cornish hens can be if you use Perdue Oven Ready products.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - oven set to 400oF per instructions. It should take about 1 hour to cook the hens!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - two Cornish heans, in separate bags, so you can prep only one if you choose!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the hens are were raised cage free, ensuring the meat is flavorful and healthy!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the nutritional information per serving. Two hens constitute 11 servings!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - The clear instructions, indicating which side goes up on the package

copyright Durhamonthecheap - You can see the spices and herbs used through the package!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the small opening that you need to cut into the bag for venting during cooking

copyright Durhamonthecheap - time per on bag instructions 60-70 minutes, I used the latter to ensure thorough cooking!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - ready for cooking! Two Oven Ready Cornish hens, ready in no time for the oven!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - yummy goodness in the making - hens in the oven

copyright Durhamonthecheap - after 70 minutes, you can tell the chicken are browned through the bags

copyright Durhamonthecheap - two Cornish hens, the smell is out of this world!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the hens smell awesome and look so good, ready to dig in!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - for a festive treat, I retained the juices from the bag to use in gravy!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - a meal fit for a king, Cornish hens, Brussel sprouts, stuffing and homemade gravy!
Overall, I am again very impressed with the ease with which I can prepare a homecooked chicken dinner for my family. The Cornish hens were flavorful, the meat was incredibly moist and the seasoning was just right for our taste.

This time I reserved the juices for homemade chicken gravy and that added a nice touch to the stuffing and added to the hens themselves. The dinner was delicious and did not disappoint despite taking very little effort from me to prepare. I did use stuffing out of the box, but added frozen herbs from the garden and with the gravy, to which I added some pepper and a little bit of nutmeg to give it additional flavor, the stuffing was moist and flavorful. The Brussel sprouts were frozen and I made a simple white sauce, again containing some nutmeg and pepper, to go with them. The nutmeg in both gravy and sauce tied the whole meal together and to us provides a truly home-cooked flavor!

I find the Oven Ready product line by Perdue to be a real time saver for the busy housewife. You can provide your family with truly home-cooked meals without compromising quality, while saving a lot of time. The instructions seem extremely easy, set the oven to a specific temperature, set your kitchen timer, add chicken to the oven and pull it out when your timer goes off. The result in my two attempts so far is a consistently high quality dinner and the flavor is certainly good enough that I decided to serve Cornish hens for Christmas dinner. Everyone loved the hens and the meat turned out so moist that we had a hard time saving some of the chicken to eat cold the next day.

We used one of the Cornish hens for lunch the next day with some roasted potatoes and carrots. The meat, cold and right out of the fridge, tasted excellent. The skin was not crispy, but most importantly, there was no excess grease and so eating the skin was a rare treat for us since we usually do not include skin from chicken due to its excessive greasiness.

The Cornish hens do not provide sufficient bones and leftovers for a nice soup stock, but overall, I find the Perdue Oven Ready Cornish hens a good value for the money, especially if you find them on sale at your grocery store.  I like to prepare Cornish hens for special meals since the meat is more flavorful than regular chicken and the breast meat takes up a higher percentage of the total meat compared to adult chicken.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - cold Cornish hens for lunch the next day!
Disclaimer: This blog entry was done as part of bzzagent campaign and a received a $2 off coupon for a Perdue Oven Ready product from The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by bzzagent or any third party.

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