Easy Cornish Game Hens

These easy cornish game hens are perfect for a holiday meal. They’re beautiful, make a great presentation, and most importantly they’re delicious!  

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A platter of Easy Cornish Game Hens, golden brown, and sophisticated enough for a holiday meal.

I like to serve them with Savory Mushroom Risotto, Sweet and Tangy Green Bean Bundles, an Autumn Salad, and Gooey Caramel Pecan Pie Bars for dessert.


Cornish game hen is really just a small chicken.  The standard Cornish chicken can be either male or female,  will weigh between 1 to 2 pounds, and must be ‘harvested’ before five weeks of age.

It has a sweeter, more delicate flavor and is buttery tender.  Because of its small size, it can be beautifully presented on individual plates.  Who doesn’t love their very own chicken?

A platter of Easy Cornish Game Hens, golden brown, and sophisticated enough for a holiday meal.


  • Butter
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • Fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh sage
  • Lemon
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • White wine
  • Chicken broth
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A platter of Easy Cornish Game Hens, golden brown, and sophisticated enough for a holiday meal.



These Easy Cornish Game Hens make a sophisticated holiday meal or even a weeknight dinner.  They’re golden brown and crisp on the outside, and incredibly tender and juicy inside.



1 stick butter, room temperature

12 teaspoon poultry seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

4 Cornish game hens

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut in half

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs of fresh sage

1 lemon, cut into 8 pieces

1 small onion, cut into 8 pieces

2 celery stalks, cut in half horizontally

1215 fresh garlic cloves

⅔ cup white wine

⅔ cup chicken broth


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Dry the Cornish game hens, both inside and out, with paper towels.

Using your fingers, lift the skin from the breasts of the bird and place a teaspoon of butter under the skin.

Rub the remaining butter all over the hen.  Place a half sprig of rosemary, one sprig of thyme, one sprig of sage, and one piece of lemon into the cavity of each bird.

In a small covered roaster, place the remaining rosemary, thyme, sage, and lemon in the bottom.

Add the onion, celery, and garlic on top of the herbs.

Nestle the birds into the roaster.

Pour the wine and broth into the roaster.

Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, remove the roasting pan’s lid, and continue roasting for another 25 minutes or until the hens are golden brown and the juices run clear.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven.  

Transfer the hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices back into the pan.  Tent the birds with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the roasting pan juices into a medium saucepan.  Discard the herbs and vegetables in the bottom.

Bring the juices to a boil and reduce the liquid until it is a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.

To serve, cut the hens in half and arrange them on a platter.  Spoon sauce around the hens.

Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cornish game hens, Christmas dinner, roasted chicken, easy dinners, sophisticated dinners, roasted meat, capon recipes, rock cornish game hens

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