Best Cornish Game Hen Recipes

Best Cornish Game Hen Recipes

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Top Rated Cornish Game Hen Recipes

Whether you’re looking to shake up your holiday meals or just want to have a classy dish at your summer backyard barbecues, this beautiful hen dish will get the job done.This recipe is courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery.

While many people might not be familiar with cornish game hens (aka young chickens), I actually grew up eating them. A lot of them. This particular dish is a riff on something my mother made that we referred to as "Chicken with Greens" because of the heavy dousing of oregano on top.All in all, this dish is incredibly easy to make. I chose to use whole pearl onions and shallots instead of opting for fingerlings or other potatoes, but you can choose that route if you prefer. A less lazy cook than I would peel the onions, but I had just taken a kick-your-booty kind of class at the gym and wasn't sure how much longer I'd be able to stand up for. So, I simply rubbed them to remove any excess skin and placed them in the roasting pan as is (and they came out spectacularly).I particularly love whole roasted onions and shallots (much like roasted garlic) because they completely break down and become ultra creamy and soft. You can also toss a garlic head in the pan as well if you'd like, just lop off the top and drizzle with some olive oil.Click here to see Cozy Winter Meals.

The Best Recipe for Cornish Game Hens

Food may be the most vital detail on game day– you require food with big taste to maintain you as well as your guests sustained. The only issue? Most game day recipes are loaded with adequate standard milk, gluten, as well as sugar to make you go to sleep.

2. Herb Brined Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Best Cornish Game Hens Recipes
from Herb Brined Cornish Game Hens Recipe
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If you should fry, upgrade your method with higher-quality fats and tidy burning starches. This tostones recipe is the excellent game day food with satisfying starchy plantains fried in fats like avocado oil or ghee. Dip in abundant guacamole for crunchy, velvety satisfaction.


If you’re wondering what a Cornish Game Hen is, it’s actually a breed of chicken from Cornwall, England. Cornish chickens are the most popular breed in the chicken meat industry.

They’re pretty readily available in most well stocked supermarkets and can be purchased either fresh or frozen. I like to keep a few in the freezer for those nights we want a roasted chicken but don’t want to wait forever for it to bake in the oven.

The difference between a cornish hen and a chicken is, primarily, the size of the bird at maturity. A Cornish Game Hen rarely weighs over 2 pounds whereas a roasting chicken or even a fryer chicken weigh, on average, more than 5 pounds.

Cornish hens taste exactly the same as chicken but I find that, because of their smaller size, they are much more tender and juicy. They’re also lower in fat than a whole chicken.

The Best Air Fryers

Once you have your ingredients, coat the hens in butter. The more&hellipthe better! Sprinkle with seasoning salt and garlic and herb seasoning to taste.

Spray the air fryer rack with cooking spray and place the hens in the air fryer. Cook the hens at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

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Cornish Game Hen with Raspberry-Red Wine Sauce

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Cornish Game Hens With Kumquats and Orange Liqueur Sauce

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Grandma's Roasted Cornish Game Hens

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Cornish Game Hens with Orange and Honey

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Cornish Game Hens with Sweet-Potato Risotto and Cranberry Sauce

Moroccan-Style Cornish Game Hens

Moroccan-Style Cornish Game Hens

Lemon-Sage Cornish Game Hens with Tomato-Porcini Sauce

Lemon-Sage Cornish Game Hens with Tomato-Porcini Sauce

Hickory Smoked Cornish Game Hen (Patrick and Gina Neely)

Hickory Smoked Cornish Game Hen (Patrick and Gina Neely)

Wild Rice Stuffed Cornish Game Hens With Caraway Cream Sauce

Cornish game hen is the smallest of the commercial chicken family at between 1 and 2 pounds and less than five weeks old. The next step up is a broiler-fryer at about seven weeks old and 2.5 to 4.5 pounds. There is a great difference between the two, both in terms of taste and the texture of the meat. While a young broiler is tender, a Cornish game hen is even more so. Besides size and age, the particular cross of the Cornish game hen creates larger breasts and more fat, which naturally bastes the meat while it cooks, making it even more tender. One could say that because the Cornish game hen is so young, it is not as flavorful as an older chicken that has had more time to develop flavor, but that is a question of personal taste.

A poussin chicken (also known as a spring chicken), which must be less than four weeks old and weigh less than 750 grams (26 ounces), could be considered comparable in many ways to a Cornish game hen, but the poussin chicken is not USDA rated and the breeding is different. Among the USDA recognized categories, the one closest to Cornish game hen in terms of moistness and flavor is, ironically, the biggest and oldest of them all—a capon—whose large breasts and soft, buttery flesh most closely resemble that of the little Cornish game hen.

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 Cornish hens (1 to 1 1/2 pound size)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the cayenne, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, paprika, and black pepper in a bowl. Mix well.

Dry the cornish hens. Brush thoroughly with the olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the hens, making sure to get all sides.

Place the hens breast side up in a baking pan and place in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) or until they register 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer.

How to cook Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens cook pretty much identical to how you would make a whole chicken. Now I make one killer roasted chicken (both stuffed and unstuffed) so when it came to making these I went with an herbed compound butter rub.

I&rsquove never seen them fresh so mine are always found in the freezer section.

I thaw them in the fridge for 1-2 days. Never thaw poultry on the counter or at room temperature.

  1. Thaw the game hens and clean out the gizzards (they typically are in a little bag). You can save them and make gravy or add it to a stuffing. Totally your choice.
  2. Pat the birds dry and make your compound butter. (See below)
  3. Separate the skin from the breast meat and put the compound butter in there. Smush it down and help spread it out. What&rsquos going to happen is that when the bird roasts, that butter, and all the herbs are actually going to infuse into the meat and not only make it juicier BUT add such incredible flavor!
  4. Add oil, salt, and pepper and bake!

Cornish Hen Brine Bring on the brine!

Brining can greatly enhance some meats and seafood, making them extra juicy, and can even help with caramelization — especially on poultry skin.

The basic brine ratio is ¼ cup of salt per 1 quart of water. If more caramelization is a goal, add ¼ cup of sugar. Aromatics and seasonings can also be added. You will want to make enough to cover (plus a little) whatever you are brining.

Here is a brine you can use to make your Cornish hens extra juicy and enhance caramelization of the skin.



Whisk salt and sugar with just enough hot tap water to dissolve.

Add birds to container with solution and fill with remaining cold tap water until fully submerged. Add a little ice to chill faster. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Drain and discard brine.

Prepare hens according to your favorite recipe! Try our Sesame Cornish Hens with Honey and Rosemary recipe.


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