This time, I overcame the whole cooling-oil issue by warming the hens ahead of time. I heated the oven to 200 and popped them in while the oil was heating. I had butterflied one and left the other whole, just in case 12 minutes wasn't enough for a complete hen. By cutting it in half, I made sure the cavity wasn't going to be a reservoir of cold, preventing some of the meat from cooking. I needn't have bothered.
By preheating the meat, the oil temperature barely moved when the hens went in. I pulled them at the requisite 12-minute mark and they ended up perfect. I hadn't seasoned them under the theory that the seasoning would either burn or wash off, polluting the oil I wanted to reuse. That worked out fine as well. The end result was two excellent hens, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. My wife didn't like it as much, saying the white meat was too tough, but I'd attribute that to the hens themselves and not the fryer.