How to roast a cornish hen

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon-pepper

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each, rinsed and dried thoroughly

1 green bell pepper, large dice

2 stalks celery, large dice

1 onion, large dice

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together salt, lemon pepper, dried basil and poultry seasoning. Rub olive oil all over the hens and season each with the salt mixture. Place the hens on a baking sheet pan with plenty of space between them. You may need to use 2 pans. Loosely stuff the cavities of each hen with some green bell pepper, celery and onion. Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.

Cook’s Note

Line the baking sheet pan with foil under the wire rack for an easy clean-up. The veggies and herbs stuffed in the cavities of the hens will impart flavor to the meat as it cooks. Be sure not to crowd the hens on the baking sheets or else the skin won’t crisp up properly and they will take much longer to cook.

Introduction: How to Roast Cornish Hens

How to roast a cornish hen

How to roast a cornish hen

How to roast a cornish hen

Cornish Hens are just baby chickens but they taste completely different. They present really well when serving and cook in a short period of time.

I like serving them for dinner parties or for the holidays. Typically 1/2 a Cornish hen is enough for one person but someone with a good appetite could eat a whole one.

Step 1: Ingredients

  • Cornish Hens
  • Garlic butter or salted butter
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon
  • Cotton string or twine

Step 2: Check Out the Video

Here is a video of the whole recipe, the written directions follow:

Step 3: Preparing the Cornish Hens

First thing is you want to make sure the Cornish hens are thawed if you purchased them frozen. If you need to thaw them quickly do it in a bucket of cold water with the plastic still around the hens.

  1. Preheat oven to 325F in a convection oven or 350F in a regular oven.
  2. Unwrap the cornish hens from plastic and remove the necks.
  3. Using your finger to separate the skin from the breast meat. Do this gently, try not to tear the skin.
  4. Soften some garlic butter and cut into small pieces. If you don’t have garlic butter you can use regular salted butter. Stuff the pieces of butter between the skin and the breast meat.
  5. Optional: for additional flavor you can place some rosemary or thyme in with the butter.
  6. Using some cotton string or butchers twine truss the hens. Wrap the string around the back of the bird and wings. Cross behind the breast and around the two drumsticks to hold them together. Trussing keeps the bird in one uniform shape that helps the bird cook evenly.
  7. Roughly chop some carrots and onions. Place the carrots and onions in the bottom of a roasting pan, they will serve as a make shift rack to keep the hens off the bottom of the pan. The veggies will also cook in the juices of the hens adding lots of flavor.
  8. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  9. Squeeze some lemon juice all over the hens and place a lemon wedge in each cavity of the bird, ideally do this before you truss the hens.

Step 4: Cooking and Serving

Place the Cornish hens in the preheated oven and roast until juices run clear or about 1 hour 15 minutes. Basting with it’s own juices once or twice if you like. Be sure to remove the trussing string before serving.

Serve them with some french fries or other starchy side dish. The carrots and onions have loads of flavor from the juices. Impress each of your dinner guests with their own Cornish hen.

The only word I can use to describe them is succulent!. Go roast some Cornish hens, you will love them!

Most Cornish hens are sold frozen and come two to a package. Although they are sold frozen, Cornish hens thaw quickly — overnight in the refrigerator is plenty of time. You can also thaw them in the microwave, but they need to be cooked immediately afterward. One hen weighs just more than a pound with its bone.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen Cornish game hen?

The safest way is to put it in a pan (to prevent leakage) in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours before you want to eat it. If you’re short on time, you can put it in a clean sink (as in washed out with bleach), weight it down, and submerge it in COLD water. It should thaw in about 4 to 6 hours.

Do you cover Cornish hens when baking?

Place the hens in the roasting pan over the bed of ingredients and drizzle olive oil all over the hens. Roast the hens: Roast, uncovered, for 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165F in the thickest part of the breast. Let the hens rest for 20 minutes and serve with remaining lemon slices.

How do you thaw frozen cornish hens?

If the hen is frozen, thaw it in your refrigerator for one to two days. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for a slow defrost, thaw frozen packaged hens in a bowl of cool water. Replace the water every 30 minutes. The hens are ready to cook in one to two hours, depending on their size.

How many Cornish hens can you cook at once?

One whole hen weighs 1 to 1 ¼ pounds. There is a small amount of meat to bone with Cornish hens, so plan on one per person for a generous serving.

Do you wash Cornish hens before cooking?

Wash everything that touches the raw meat well with hot water and soap. Most commonly, Cornish hens are cooked whole in the oven. Here’s how to do that: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you know when a Cornish hen is done?

The hens are done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads at least 165 °F (74 °C). If you baked the hens, the skin should be golden brown. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut into the thigh and check that the juices run clear.

Can you cook cornish hen frozen?

To cook cornish game hens from frozen, let fully defrost before cooking for the best results. Be sure to thoroughly pat dry hens before roasting in the oven to ensure skin can crisp and become golden brown.

How long can frozen cornish hens stay in the fridge?

Storing a Fresh Cornish Hen If this is done properly, the Cornish hens can be stored in the freezer at 0 F for 6 to 9 months. Cooked Cornish hens can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.

What temperature should Cornish hens be cooked at?

Cook, basting occasionally and adding more chicken stock to pan if dry, until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. when measured with a meat thermometer, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove hens from pan, and set aside on a board to rest 5 minutes before serving with reserved lemon wedges.

What do you eat with Cornish hens?

What to Serve with Cornish Hens: 12 Succulent Sides Mushroom Rice. Glazed Carrots. Roasted Red Potatoes. Scalloped Potatoes. Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Mac and Cheese. Dinner Rolls. Fresh Salad.

How do you cook Tyson premium Cornish hens?

Roast, uncovered, basting frequently with butter for 1 hour (if hen weighs over 1 lb. 2 oz., roast 1 hour and 15 minutes) or until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced and temperature on instant read thermometer reaches 180ºF. 6. To brown, increase temperature to 400°F during last 10 minutes.

How do you reheat Cornish game hens?

Insert the probe into the thickest part of the thigh, and when the temp registers 165°, the chicken is cooked through, juicy, and safe to eat! Reheating leftovers: You can reheat Cornish hens in a toaster oven at 350° for about 10-15 minutes.

“Moist and tender cornish hens seasoned with a savory spice mixture and roasted with vegetables to perfection!”

Watch me make these easy roasted cornish hens from start to finish!

Cornish hens are so doggone cute!! Every time I make them I’m all like “awwwww look…. so precious”. Sometimes I even do the whole baby talk thing “awww wook at those wittle wegs!!” Ha! Ay don’t act like you didn’t know I was a tad off.

How to roast a cornish hen

If you’ve never made cornish hens before then you should definitely start with this easy, basic recipe. It’s nothing fancy-schmancy really. No super seasoning blends. Just a delicious, quick recipe that creates one juicy, tender cornish hens (without brining) that pairs up great with so many side dishes.

How to roast a cornish hen

Feel free to add in more seasonings and spices if you’re going for something really spicey…or smokey…or salty…or whatevs!

What I love about this roasted cornish hen recipe is that it cooks over a bed of fresh veggies so this could totally be a complete meal.

How to roast a cornish hen

There is something about serving cornish hens that looks so elegant. Everybody gets their own little juicy hen to devour. It’s a GREAT alternative to doing a whole turkey for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a small gathering.

I usually serve it with wild rice, candied yams, and cabbage. Oh yeah and a basket of yeast rolls and sweet ice tea. Yes, Lordt. ” I wish I had that meal right now!

Published: Feb 13, 2014 | 46 Comments

Paprika Roasted Cornish Hen with Vegetables (carrots and sweet potatoes) – a delicious way to prepare cornish hen. Great recipe for the Fall season, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

How to roast a cornish hen

If you’re craving a simple comfort dish, try this roasted paprika Cornish hen with root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) and onions. It’s delicious and full of flavor: Cornish hens are usually easy to handle and come out great no matter what. The recipe is simple, which is perfect for weeknight dinners after a busy workday.

Whole Cornish hens look beautiful on serving plates – which makes this recipe a great choice for special occasions, too! I’ve cooked them for Thanksgiving and Christmas before.

How to roast a cornish hen

The birds in this recipe come out juicy, moist, with the flavorful juice – made with white wine, chicken stock, spices, and hen juices. Pour this juice over a simple side dish, such as rice or quinoa. You can also reduce these juices into a delicious thickened sauce.

Roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions complement paprika roasted Cornish hens perfectly. You can also serve these hens alongside a rice pilaf, quinoa, couscous, or you can cook some mushrooms in the hen juices.

The recipe can be easily halved: you don’t have to buy 4 hens if you can get away with 2, right? I actually prefer to just make 2 hens: my husband and I usually share one, and the second one can be used the next day.

How to roast a cornish hen

OTHER HOLIDAY MAIN COURSES:

Do you want to try something different for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Check out these 2 recipes:

  • Roast Duck– an ultimate Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year’s Eve main course! This Roast Whole Duck has tender and juicy meat, crispy skin, and it’s glazed with the honey-balsamic glaze to give the duck a beautiful roasted look.
  • Roasted Turkey Breast (Boneless) with Garlic Herb Butter – this is a rolled turkey breast recipe and is a great alternative when you don’t feel like cooking the entire turkey.
“Moist and tender cornish hens seasoned with a savory spice mixture and roasted with vegetables to perfection!”

Watch me make these easy roasted cornish hens from start to finish!

Cornish hens are so doggone cute!! Every time I make them I’m all like “awwwww look…. so precious”. Sometimes I even do the whole baby talk thing “awww wook at those wittle wegs!!” Ha! Ay don’t act like you didn’t know I was a tad off.

How to roast a cornish hen

If you’ve never made cornish hens before then you should definitely start with this easy, basic recipe. It’s nothing fancy-schmancy really. No super seasoning blends. Just a delicious, quick recipe that creates one juicy, tender cornish hens (without brining) that pairs up great with so many side dishes.

How to roast a cornish hen

Feel free to add in more seasonings and spices if you’re going for something really spicey…or smokey…or salty…or whatevs!

What I love about this roasted cornish hen recipe is that it cooks over a bed of fresh veggies so this could totally be a complete meal.

How to roast a cornish hen

There is something about serving cornish hens that looks so elegant. Everybody gets their own little juicy hen to devour. It’s a GREAT alternative to doing a whole turkey for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a small gathering.

I usually serve it with wild rice, candied yams, and cabbage. Oh yeah and a basket of yeast rolls and sweet ice tea. Yes, Lordt. ” I wish I had that meal right now!

Written on November 26, 2020

With its perfectly crispy, golden brown skin and moist, flavorful meat, this Roasted Cornish Game Hen recipe is sure to win you a standing ovation from your dinner guests!

How to roast a cornish hen

Get ready to learn how to prepare roasted Cornish hen that is super moist and flavorful with perfectly browned and crispy skin!

I’ve always enjoyed Cornish game hen. Growing up they were our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner for many years. Not only were they delicious, they also catered perfectly to those egocentric developmental stages of childhood and teens where the importance of possession dominates: Being in miniature form, I could have an entire chicken all to myself! And it’s still neat to be served a mini chicken you can call your own.

One of the reasons I like Cornish hen is that it makes for such an elegant presentation. It’s one thing when you bring in the large roasted chicken for your dinner guests to admire and it’s then carved and divided among the plates, each guest with their own little pile of chicken meat – and of course the dark meat lovers have to fight over who gets the two drumsticks and wings. But it looks much more impressive when you can serve your dinner guests their very own beautifully golden-browned hens. And those dark meat lovers get both sets of drumsticks and wings to themselves! Thinking of inviting your boss over to dinner to prep him for that raise request? These Cornish game hens are the perfect thing to feed his ego.

Do people even still do that or have I been watching too many 60’s movies??

There are a few tips and tricks to achieving roasted Cornish game hen that is perfectly browned and crispy on the outside while super moist and flavorful on the inside. Whether you’re preparing a special meal for your family, enjoying a romantic dinner for two, celebrating a special occasion or holiday, or simply feeding your egocentric needs, this recipe will show you what you need to do to get the perfect results.

How to roast a cornish hen

Roasted Cornish Game Hen Recipe

Let’s get started!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

I used fresh rosemary and thyme for these hens, but you can use any herb of your choice. Peel four whole cloves of garlic and cut a lemon in quarters. Pat the hens dry with paper towels. This is important for getting nicely browned, crispy skin.

Use your index finger to carefully loosen the skin on top of the hens, then slip a thin slice of butter under the skin on top of each breast.

Next slip a few fresh herb leaves under the skin.

How to roast a cornish hen

In each cavity, stuff a quarter of the lemon, a clove of garlic, and a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme (or herbs of choice).

Rub each hen all over with some extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

How to roast a cornish hen

Truss the hens by tying the legs and wings. For a step-by-step visual, you can Google “how to truss a chicken” and multiple videos will come up.

Place the hens on the rack of a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Place the hens as far apart from each other as possible to enable the skins to get browned and crispy (I added a fifth hen this time for our dinner guests). Place the hens in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes.

How to roast a cornish hen

In the meantime, combine the chicken broth and white wine in a small bowl. After the hens have roasted for 25 minutes. pour the liquid over the hens, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and continue roasting for another 35 minutes, basting every 8-10 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. This is important to keep the meat juicy and flavorful.

How to roast a cornish hen

The hens are done when an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. Using a meat thermometer is very helpful for getting the best results. You want the chicken to be done but cooking it too long will dry out the meat.

If you want the skins browner, turn off the oven to broil and roast for a couple more minutes, watching closely so the skin doesn’t burn. Carefully remove the hens, pour the juices from the cavities into the roasting pan. Transfer the hens to a warmed platter, remove the trussing string, and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour the liquid from the roasting pan into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes until it is a thin sauce-like consistency. Serve the hens whole per guest or cut them in half lengthwise, placing them cavity side down on each plate, drizzle with the sauce and garnish with a sprig of fresh herb and a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.

ENJOY!

How to roast a cornish hen

For a very different and incredibly delicious roast chicken recipe, be sure to try our Peruvian roasted chicken, Pollo a la Brasa!

What temperature should Cornish hens be cooked at?

Cook, basting occasionally and adding more chicken stock to pan if dry, until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. when measured with a meat thermometer, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove hens from pan, and set aside on a board to rest 5 minutes before serving with reserved lemon wedges.

Do you cover Cornish hens when baking?

Place the hens in the roasting pan over the bed of ingredients and drizzle olive oil all over the hens. Roast the hens: Roast, uncovered, for 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165F in the thickest part of the breast. Let the hens rest for 20 minutes and serve with remaining lemon slices.

How do I know when my Cornish hen is done?

Roasting Cornish hens on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet also helps elevate the birds so that the thighs cook as quickly as the breasts. Cornish hens are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh and their juices run clear.

Do you wash Cornish hens before cooking?

Handling of a cornish hen is similar to handling a chicken. There’s no difference between cleaning and prepping.

How many does a Cornish hen feed?

One hen weighs just more than a pound with its bone, though some can weigh up to 2 pounds each. A whole Cornish hen is enough for one generous serving. Or you can split the hen in half for two servings.

How do you cook Perdue Cornish hens?

Grill hen 5 to 6 inches from heat source for 35 to 45 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Turn and baste occasionally during cooking. Hen is done when internal temperature reaches 180°F.

What do you eat with Cornish hens?

What to Serve with Cornish Hens: 12 Succulent Sides Mushroom Rice. Glazed Carrots. Roasted Red Potatoes. Scalloped Potatoes. Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Mac and Cheese. Dinner Rolls. Fresh Salad.

Is Cornish hen better than chicken?

Although Cornish hens have less fat and fewer calories, you can reduce the fats in the regular chicken by not eating the skin and by only eating the white meat. Cornish hens are perfect if you’re feeling luxurious and have only a few people to feed. Share with us what you prefer between Cornish hens and chickens.

What does a live Cornish hen look like?

The Cornish chicken is a hefty bird with closely knit feathers giving the chicken the appearance of a more slender fellow. Their feathers are a mishmosh of colors that most commonly include iridescent greens, brown, and blue; however, they can also come in white and buff.

Can you cook cornish hen frozen?

To cook cornish game hens from frozen, let fully defrost before cooking for the best results. Be sure to thoroughly pat dry hens before roasting in the oven to ensure skin can crisp and become golden brown.

How do you thaw a Cornish hen?

If the hen is frozen, thaw it in your refrigerator for one to two days. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for a slow defrost, thaw frozen packaged hens in a bowl of cool water. Replace the water every 30 minutes. The hens are ready to cook in one to two hours, depending on their size.

How long does it take to thaw Cornish hens in the refrigerator?

The best method is to thaw it in a fridge for 24– 36 hours in what’s called “Slack Thawing”. This way the meat protein never enters the “Danger Zone” for growing harmful bacteria in food.

How do you cook Tyson premium Cornish hens?

Cook to 180 degrees in shallow pan. In preheated 350 oven, the skin should be golden brown. If you don’t have a thermometer, bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes.

What exactly is a Cornish hen?

Cornish game hen (also Rock Cornish game hen ) is the USDA-approved name for variety of broiler chicken, produced from a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chicken breeds, that is served young and immature, weighing no more than two pounds (900 g) ready to cook.