Classic With a Twist: Cornish Hen, Brussels Sprouts & Bacon, Cranberry Sauce

It’s been a busy month!

December seems to be a jam-packed month for many, filled with holiday planning, cooking & baking, travelling, year end tasks at work, and so on. December was extra busy for me this year – I started a brand new job just under 3 weeks ago (and happy to report that so far, so good!)

Despite the busyness, I was fortunate enough to get home to visit friends & family this Christmas (lucky, I know!). If your household is anything like mine, food plays a natural part in bringing all kinds of people together. Since being back from Christmas break, the wheels have been turning as to what new recipes we could cook up. This is a classic recipe with a little bit of added flare. Our goal was to create a delicious meal of only locally sourced ingredients – here it is!

Dutch Oven Cornish Hen

Cornish hen in dutch oven


  • 1 cornish hen (ours was a locally raised bird from Martock Glen)
  • Oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Spices of choice for dry rub – I used thyme, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a touch of brown sugar

Combine all spices & sugar to create dry rub. Use as much as you like of each ingredient – we like to make up enough to have a jar of leftovers for next time. Rub on bird.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place hen in cast iron dutch oven. Brush with oil and lemon juice until coated.

Roast in oven for about an hour, depending on the size of the bird, or until internal temperature reaches 180F.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Bits

Roasted brussels sprouts & bacon bits on pan


  • Brussels sprouts – desired amount
  • 2 or 3 strips of bacon – again, Martock Glen has a delicious apple wood smoked cut
  • 2 tbsp melted fat – butter, coconut oil, ghee
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Chop off the ends and outer layers of sprouts. Cut in half. Wash thoroughly.

In a bowl, toss sprouts with melted fat of choice. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Line baking sheet with tinfoil. Spread sprouts evenly on pan.

Chop raw bacon strips into small pieces. Toss in sprouts.

Put pan in oven on rack below the cornish hen. Remove from oven every 10 minutes, flipping sprouts over. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until sprouts are browning and bacon is cooked.

Before serving, drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar overtop.


Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce in a mason jar


  • 1 bag fresh, local cranberries
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 – 1 c sugar

Wash cranberries thoroughly.

Bring water & sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries. Continue to boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for another 10-12 minutes or until cranberries pop.

Remove berries from heat and cool completely. Once at room temperature, chill in the fridge until ready for serving.

Note: sauce will thicken as it cools.

And that’s it!

Typically, I always steam brussels sprouts. But – I recently had lunch at the new Agricola Street Brasserie and ordered a roasted form of sprouts, which also included bacon – yum!

I did my best to recreate that dish here :)

What other ways do you enjoy brussels sprouts?

photo (12)


Fall Feast: Roasted chicken & veg

A roasted chicken dinner is amazing in so many ways. Not only is it delicious, nutritious, and easy, but it also:

  • Is the perfect basis for a family dinner chez toi – just toss everything in the oven for a few hours and you’ll be feeding fam & friends in no time Fall vegetables
  • Makes lots of leftovers – hello awesome work lunches!
  • Clears out those produce drawers before it’s too late

Did I mention the smell? Your kitchen will smell delicious for hours – it’s impressive and makes you look like a pro ;)


  • 1 whole, free range chicken (I usually choose one between 4 and 5 lbs)
  • Seasonal vegetables of choice. I typically include things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks, onions, turnip, carrot, garlic
  • 1 whole lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Herbamare & pepper
  • Roasted garlic flax seed
  • Herbs of choice. I like to use dried thyme, summer savoury, oregano, rosemary
  • String of some sort – twine, unflavoured dental floss, etc.

Peel potatoes, carrots, turnip. Chop all veggies in relatively large pieces (small, thin pieces of onion, potato, etc. will burn easily. The pieces should be thick – see image below).

Chopped vegetables in pan

Placed in a roasting pan, drizzle a couple teaspoons of oil over vegetables. Season with herbamare, pepper, shelled flax, thyme. Set aside.

Rinse/wash chicken with lukewarm water. Truss chicken to avoid wings and tips from burning (watch this quick video on how to truss a chicken if you don’t know how).

Using a knife, prick the lemon a few times. Place lemon in chicken cavity (gross – I know). This helps keep the chicken moist while roasting.

Brush a tbsp or so of oil across chicken. Season chicken with herbamare, pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and other preferred spices. Place chicken on top of veggies in roaster.

In a 380 F degree oven, cook chicken & veggies until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F (roughly 2.5 – 3 hours for a 5lb bird). You may have to remove & stir veggies from time to time to prevent burning.

Carve chicken, & enjoy!

Remember to keep bones and extra chicken pieces to make chicken soup :)

Roast chicken