If you have ever wondered how to cook cornish game hen, here are the best cornish game hen recipes to show you how. This list includes dishes from Pioneer Woman, Barefoot Contessa, Martha Stewart, and others, and provides you with a variety of cooking methods.
What is the Best Way to Cook a Cornish Hen?
One of the best ways to cook cornish hens is to stuff them with a vegetable mixture and roast them. Additionally, you can bake cornish game hen in the oven or fry it in an air fryer with vegetables, butter, and lemon juice. Although some people prefer cornish hen grilled, the best way to prepare it is by roasting it.
How Long Should You Cook Cornish Hens?
Cooking cornish hens usually takes 30 minutes to 1 hour in the oven, but this is only an estimate. Cornish hens take a different amount of time to cook depending on many factors, including the oven temperature, the size of the hens, and even the dish you are cooking. For example, if you bake cornish hens on their own, they will take only 50 to 60 minutes at 350 F and about 40 to 50 minutes at 400 F.
What Temperature Should Cornish Hens Be Cooked At?
The best temperature to bake cornish hens at is 400 F. You can cook the hens at either lower or higher temperatures, but for better results, you should roast the hens at 400 F as this temperature will give the hens more color. However, you can cook cornish hens at a lower temperature as well.
How Do I Know When My Cornish Hen is Done?
You will know the cornish hen is done when the thickest part of its thigh reaches an internal temperature of 165 F and its juices run clear. In my opinion, the internal temperature is the most important determining factor of doneness because the juices will not always run clear on a cooked cornish hen.
How Do You Keep Cornish Hens From Drying Out?
When cooking cornish hens, add liquid such as broth or water during cooking to keep them from drying out. For example, make sure to pour about ½ cup of chicken broth on the cornish hens before baking them. Additionally, you should do the same when you reheat cornish hens.
How Long Do Cornish Hens Last in the Fridge?
Properly stored cooked cornish hens can last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. All you need to do is to let it cool until they reach room temperature, and then divide them into servings and wrap each with plastic wrap. You can also store them in airtight containers.
How Long Do Cornish Hens Last in the Freezer?
You can freeze cooked cornish hens for up to 3 months. The best way to freeze cooked cornish hens is to divide the hens into portions and put each portion into a freezer bag. Then, write the freezing date on the bags so that you know when to use them by.
How to Thaw Frozen Cornish Hens
To thaw frozen cornish hens properly, you can place them in the fridge, which will take 24 hours. However, to speed up the process, you could use a warm water bath instead. You can place the frozen cornish hen bags into containers of warm water, and they will take 1 to 2 hours to defrost completely.
How to Reheat Cornish Hens?
Reheating leftover cornish hens in the oven only takes 25 minutes. To do this, simply preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, place leftover hens on a baking sheet and pour a ½ cup of broth over them to prevent them from drying out. Then, reheat them for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.
You shouldn't cook or reheat cornish hens from frozen. The cornish hens must be thawed before being reheated in the oven.
What Can You Serve with Cornish Hens?
There are a variety of sides you can serve with corish hens including mushroom rice, glazed carrots, scalloped potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and fresh salad.
Pioneer Woman's Cornish Hen
Pioneer Woman's cornish hen recipe is incredibly delicious. It can be made with chicken or cornish hens. Butter, lemon, rosemary, and salt and pepper are the only ingredients needed.
Pioneer Woman's Cornish Hen Ingredients
- 3 whole lemons, divided
- 4 sprigs rosemary, divided
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 whole cornish hen, rinsed and patted dry
Pioneer Woman's Cornish Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400 F for a convection oven or 425 F for a standard oven.
- Zest two of the lemons and remove and chop the leaves from one sprig of rosemary.
- In a bowl, stir the butter with the lemon zest, chopped rosemary, and the salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the hen on a baking sheet lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil with the breastside facing up.
- Smear the butter mixture all over the hen, under the skin, and inside the cavity with your fingers.
- Cut all the lemons in half. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the hen.
- Place the lemon halves in the cavity of the bird if they will fit along with the remaining three springs of rosemary.
- Roast the hen in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Make sure the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear.
- Serve and enjoy.
Barefoot Contessa's Cornish Hen
Ina Garten's cornish hens recipe is very easy to make. In fact, you can make these cornish hens in less than 40 minutes.
Barefoot Contessa's Cornish Hen Ingredients
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
- 2 cornish hens
- Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
For the Cornbread Stuffing:
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 ½ cups cubed cornbread
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Barefoot Contessa's Cornish Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Spread the onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Take out the giblets from the hens, and rinse them.
- If there is any excess fat or feathers left on the outside, remove them, and then, pat the cornish hens dry.
- Lay the hens over the onion slices.
- Insert the cornbread stuffing into the cavities of the hens.
- Tuck the wing tips under the hen's bodies and tie their legs together with kitchen string.
- Sprinkle the hens with salt and pepper and brush them with olive oil.
- Roast the hens for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh.
How to Prepare Cornbread Stuffing:
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter.
- On medium-low heat, cook the onion for 5 minutes, until translucent.
- Place the cornbread pieces in a large bowl and break them up.
- Pour the onion mixture over the cornbread.
- Lastly, add the celery, chicken stock, parsley, salt, and pepper to the cornbread mixture and stir until combined.
Martha Stewart's Cornish Game Hen
Martha Stewart's cornish hens include lemons and herbs. If you would like to scale up the recipe, you can use two roasting pans and double the ingredients.
Martha Stewart's Cornish Game Hen Ingredients
- 2 cornish hens (about 1 ¾ Ib each), room temperature, rinsed well and patted dry
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme (about ½ ounce), plus more for garnish
- 2 lemons, halved and divided, plus wedges for serving
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Martha Stewart's Cornish Game Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Place the hens in a roasting pan with the breast side facing up. In each hen's cavity, insert two thyme sprigs and one lemon half.
- Gently loosen the skin from the breast, and place the remaining thyme and parsley underneath.
- Squeeze the rest of the lemon halves over the hens.
- Cover the hens with the butter.
- Sprinkle the hens with salt and pepper to taste.
- The hens should be roasted for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the skin turns golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 F.
- Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Cut the hens in half lengthwise.
- Serve with lemon wedges and thyme sprigs.
Herbed Cornish Hens
The butter, thyme, and lemon juice in the sauce in this recipe gives these hens a savory flavor. These ingredients work well with roasted chicken as well.
Herbed Cornish Hen Ingredients
- 6 cornish game hens (about 20 to 24 ounces each)
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme, divided
- 1 ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt, divided
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Herbed Cornish Hen Instructions
- In a large roasting pan, arrange the hens on a wire rack.
- Add 1 sp each of the thyme, seasoned salt, and garlic powder to a bowl with the lemon juice, butter, and paprika.
- Pour half of the mixture over the hens and use the rest for basting.
- Sprinkle the hens with the salt and pepper, and the remaining thyme, seasoned salt, and garlic powder.
- Roast uncovered at 375 F for 1 hour, brushing the hens with the remaining lemon juice mixture occasionally, or until the meat is tender and juices run clear.
Roasted Cornish Game Hens
The Neelys' roasted cornish game hens recipe was initially shown on their Food Network show, "Down Home with the Neelys." Their version is a little different from other cornish hen recipes as it includes poultry seasoning, lemon pepper, and dried basil.
Roasted Cornish Game Hen Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 Cornish game hens, about 1 ½ Ib each, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 1 green bell pepper, diced into large pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, diced into large pieces
- 1 onion, diced into large pieces
Roasted Cornish Game Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Combine the salt, lemon pepper, dried basil, and poultry seasoning in a small mixing bowl.
- Rub the olive oil all over the hens and sprinkle them with the salt mixture.
- Place the hens on a baking sheet, ensuring there is enough space between them. You may need to use two pans.
- In each cavity, stuff some green bell pepper, onion, and celery loosely.
- In a preheated oven, roast the hens for approximately 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F and the juices run clear.
- Remove the hens from the oven, tent them loosely with foil, and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Serve and enjoy.
Garlicky Smothered Cornish Hen
Here is one of the best cornish hen recipes with gravy: garlicky smothered cornish hens. The hens get flavored with plenty of garlic making them wonderfully savory and delicious to enjoy with potatoes and vegetables.
Garlicky Smothered Cornish Hen Ingredients
- 10 cloves garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 (1 ½ Ib) cornish hens
- Olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces
- ½ medium onion, diced into small pieces
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 3 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Garlicky Smothered Cornish Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Pulse the garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt in a mini food processor until they form a paste.
- Create a pocket between each cornish hens' flesh and their skin with your fingers.
- Evenly bury half of the garlic paste between the skin and the flesh of the hens.
- Sprinkle both hens with salt and pepper to taste and rub them with olive oil.
- The the hens' legs together with kitchen string.
- Allow the hens to come to room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Combine the remaining garlic paste with the bell pepper, onion, cayenne pepper, paprika, a pinch of salt, and a couple of grinds of pepper in a baking dish large enough to hold both hens.
- Place the prepared hens on top of the vegetables and add 2 cups of the chicken stock.
- Put the hen in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until it reaches 160 F.
- Remove the hens from the oven and place them on a plate.
- Cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm while you make the gravy.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the flour to make a paste.
- Add the flour mixture to the vegetables in the baking dish.
- Using a fork, mix the flour with the pan contents until it is thoroughly combined.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and then cook it on the stove set over medium heat until it has thickened to the consistency of gravy, about another 5 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the hens before serving.
- Cut the birds in half after removing the string.
- Garnish them with chopped parsley and gravy.
Roasted Cornish Hens
This roasted cornish hens recipe is from Food Network. The original version used wine but I used white vinegar instead.
Roasted Cornish Hens Ingredients
- 2 cornish hens, rinsed
- 1 lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup chicken stock
Roasted Cornish Hen Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Pat the hens dry.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a medium bowl.
- Fill hen cavities with half a lemon, two cloves of garlic, and half a sprig of rosemary. Whisk the lemon juice with the honey, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle the lemon mixture over the hens.
- Transfer the hens to a small roasting pan and roast them for 20 minutes.
- Cook the hens for another 20 to 30 minutes, basting them every few minutes.
- The hens should be roasted until the juices run clear from the thighs.
- Let hens sit for 10 minutes on a cutting board.
- Pour the white vinegar into the roasting pan and put it on the stove.
- Bring to a simmer and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in chicken stock and simmer until thickened.
- Pour the sauce over the hens and serve them immediately.
Cornish Game Hen Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 bird (336g)
- Calories from Fat 424
- Calories 672
- Total Fat 48g
- Saturated Fat 13g
- Cholesterol 340mg
- Sodium 204mg
- Potassium 792mg
- Total Carbohydrates 0g
- Dietary Fiber 0g
- Sugars 0g
- Protein 58g