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Roasted Cornish Game Hens

These roasted Cornish game hens are seasoned with rosemary, wine, and lemon. This simple recipe makes cooking Cornish hens easy enough for weeknight dinner.

Cornish Game Hens
Cornish Game Hens can be found in our local market all year long and can be served for a crowd or a romantic dinner for two. We seem to forget about them and overlook them except during the holidays.  But they are a great alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas or as a New Year’s Eve dinner.
But don’t be intimated, cooking Cornish hens are easier to cook than a turkey.  And this is one way not to be overwhelmed with leftovers.    But with a little bit of wine, fresh rosemary and lemon, it can bring a roasted game hen to a whole new level.  
My son always loved these little birds, the prospect of being served an entire bird always appealed to his Viking persona.  Of course, he would just pick it up and eat it with his hands.   Oh, those were the times for him.   I swear, raising boys!  But I do miss those times now that he has survived me and grown into a nice young man with better manners.
roasted Cornish game hens


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Cooking Cornish Hens are easy enough for a weeknight dinner or special enough for a romantic dinner for two.   One thing that is very important to perfect roasted Cornish game hens is an instant-read thermometer.  Don’t guess when it comes to the internal temperature of these birds.


These Cornish Game Hens can be plated for two or cut in half for four.  They are baked with rosemary and plenty of garlic and are served with a delicate garlic wine sauce.  We think this makes them the very Best Roasted Cornish Game Hens.    


Serve these roasted Cornish Game Hens with:


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How to bake the best Cornish Game Hens

Roasted Game Hens seasoned with herbs
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cooking Game hens, Cornish Game Hens, Roasted Cornish game hen
Servings: 4
Calories: 568.59kcal
Author: Evelyn



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Rub birds with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper.
  • Put 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in the cavity of each bird
  • Place in a heavy roasting pan with garlic cloves around them
  • Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over birds
  • Using a Baster, baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
  • Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until birds are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, and the juices run clear.
  • 10. Transfer birds to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan.
  • 11. Tent birds with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.
  • 12. Spoon sauce and garlic around birds. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.


Calories: 568.59kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.85g | Protein: 39.02g | Fat: 42.14g | Saturated Fat: 10.21g | Cholesterol: 227.25mg | Sodium: 210.92mg | Potassium: 591.53mg | Fiber: 0.44g | Sugar: 0.56g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Vitamin C: 10.59mg | Calcium: 33.69mg | Iron: 2mg




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