Easy Cornish Hens

Cornish hens are a delightful option for a special dinner that’s both elegant and easy to prepare

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Cornish hens are a delightful option for a special dinner that’s both elegant and easy to prepare. These miniature chickens are perfect for serving individual portions, making them ideal for dinner parties or intimate gatherings. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to make Easy Cornish Hens that are juicy, flavorful, and sure to impress your guests.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. What are Cornish hens? Cornish hens, also known as Cornish game hens, are a small breed of chicken known for their tender meat and mild flavor. Despite their name, they are not game birds but rather a cross between Cornish chickens and another breed, such as the Plymouth Rock.
  2. How do I know when Cornish hens are done? The best way to determine if Cornish hens are cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone. The internal temperature should read 165°F (75°C) when the hens are done.
  3. Can I stuff Cornish hens? Yes, you can certainly stuff Cornish hens if you prefer. Simply prepare your favorite stuffing recipe and fill the cavities of the hens before roasting. Keep in mind that stuffed hens may require slightly longer cooking times.
  4. What can I serve with Cornish hens? Cornish hens pair well with a variety of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or wild rice pilaf. You can also serve them with a simple salad or steamed greens for a lighter option.


  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Rinse the Cornish hens under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, dried thyme, ground thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, and ground cumin.
  4. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the surface of the Cornish hens, both inside and out.
  5. Place the hens in a roasting pan or baking dish, breast side up.
  6. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth, lemon juice, and margarine over medium heat until the margarine is melted.
  7. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the Cornish hens, making sure to coat them evenly.
  8. Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the skin is golden brown and crispy.
  9. Remove the hens from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Fresh Herbs: For extra flavor, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage to the roasting pan before baking.
  • Use Butter Instead of Margarine: If you prefer, you can substitute butter for the margarine in this recipe for a richer flavor.
  • Add Wine: For a touch of sophistication, replace some of the chicken broth with white wine or dry vermouth.

Keto Version:

To make a keto-friendly version of Easy Cornish Hens, simply omit the margarine and use butter instead. Additionally, you can replace the lemon juice with chicken broth or dry white wine to reduce the carb content further.

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In conclusion, Easy Cornish Hens are a delicious and impressive dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can create a flavorful and elegant meal that will delight your guests. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a special dinner for two, these tender and juicy hens are sure to be a hit. So give this recipe a try and elevate your next meal with the irresistible flavor of Cornish hens!

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