The Best Roasted Cornish Game Hens Recipe – delicious tender juicy cornish game hens packed with flavor. Perfect for a holiday dinner, keto and low carb diet friendly, and easy enough for even beginner cooks!
Cornish Game Hens (or Cornish Chickens) make excellent holiday dinner food – they are gorgeous as a main course when served individually.
If you love tender, juicy chicken – but feel like the large whole roaster chickens don’t have a ton of flavor, you’re not wrong.
Smaller chickens tend to have much more flavor – and are easier to cook!
These Cornish game hens are the easiest, most delicious dinner and are perfect for a dinner party or even just Sunday supper!
This recipe is designed to bee easily adaptable – please feel free to use your favorite herb or seasonings to bring this delicious baked cornish game hen recipe your own!
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I have readers from all levels of experience and comfort in the kitchen on my site – and I get a LOT of questions for more information.
If you’d like to skip over my helpful tips and tricks and ways to make these baked cornish game hens the best you’ve ever baked, please simply scroll to the bottom of the page, where you will find the easy printable recipe.
Some people need more information, some people only want the recipe – so I try to provide both.
What Is A Cornish Game Hen
Even though they have a very fancy name, Cornish Game Hens, as labeled by the USDA, are really just small chickens.
The USDA currently has a pretty sparse definition of the Cornish game hen – which includes chicken between one and two pounds in weight, and slaughtered at fewer than five weeks of age can be labeled as a Cornish game hen.
A Cornish game hen must weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, with the standard at about 1 1/4 pounds.
Cornish hens have to be slaughtered before five weeks of age and they can be either male or female birds.
Since Cornish game hans are smaller than chickens, they actually are easier to cook – you can get crispy, crunchy perfect skin and juicy, tender, not-dried out meat.
Cornish game hens are the perfect easy main course for any elegant dinner!
How To Cook Frozen Cornish Game Hens
To cook cornish game hens from frozen, let fully defrost before cooking for the best results.
I let my cornish game hens defrost in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
Be sure to thoroughly pat dry hens before roasting in the oven to ensure skin can crisp and become golden brown.
How To Bake Cornish Game Hens
Preheat oven to 450F.
Rub chickens with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Lightly season chickens with salt and pepper.
Place 1 lemon wedge, 4 garlic cloves, and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen.
Arrange chickens in a large, heavy roasting pan or on a foil lined baking sheet.
Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear – and chicken’s internal temperature is 170 degrees. Remove hens from oven when they reach 170 degrees with an instant read digital thermometer.
Tent hens with aluminum foil as hens carryover cook, do not carve for at least 10 minutes.
Serve individual chickens on diners plates, and encourage them to carve tableside for a fun dinner!
How Many Cornish Game Hens to Serve
One of the trickiest parts of serving Cornish Game Hens for a holiday dinner is planning out just how many to cook for a crowd!
Luckily, it can be easy to figure out with a little bit of planning!
While one Cornish hen per person might make the most sense for your dinner party, you might want to go for a little less, and serve it pre-carved to guests.
How Many Cornish Game Hens To Serve For Bigger Portions
If you want to serve a meal with some meat left as leftovers, it is important to be sure you cook a slightly bigger portion per person.
Since cornish game hens are quite small, they really only give 1 – 1 1/2 servings per bird, making them a dish you really need to plan ahead to be sure you have the proper amount before roasting.
For larger portions dinners, plan for one cornish game hen per person for dinner.
This hen can be sliced and portioned and then served to dinner guests on a platter, or presented whole on a plate so the guest can carve their own hen.
How Many Cornish Game Hens to Serve For Four
For a standard portion, plan for three cornish game hens for four people – which would ideally be carved ahead of time and served on the table like you would present a turkey or whole roasted chicken.
How To Store and Reheat Cornish Game Hens
To store and reheat a roasted cornish game hen – without losing the flavor or tender, juicy texture – follow my steps to ensure perfect storing, freezing, and reheating suggestions below.
How To Store Baked Cornish Game Hens
After you’ve roasted your cornish game hen, serve and carve immediately.
To store cooked leftovers, place in an airtight container or plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator up to four days.
To Freeze Roasted Cornish Game Hens
To freeze roasted cornish game hen, gather up any leftovers and trim fully from hen.
Place in airtight freezer bag and store for up tp four months in a freezer.
How To Reheat Baked Cornish Game Hens
To reheat frozen baked cornish game hens, let thaw int he refrigerator naturally overnight.
Place thawed frozen cornish hens, or refrigerated hens, in a foil pouch with 1tbsp chicken stock.
What to Serve With Cornish Game Hens
If you’re looking for a great dish to serve alongside your baked cornish game hens, look no further for easy, delicious sides – many low carb and incredibly easy!
The Best Roasted Cornish Game Hens Recipe
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The Best Roasted Cornish Game Hens Recipe - delicious tender juicy cornish game hens packed with flavor. Perfect for a holiday dinner, keto and low carb diet friendly, and easy enough for even beginner cooks!
- 4 Cornish game hens
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, quartered, to stuff in hens
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, to stuff in hens
- 1 tbsp Italian Herb Seasoning Blend
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- 16 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Rub chickens with 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Lightly season chickens with salt and pepper.
- Place 1 lemon wedge, 4 garlic cloves, and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen.
- Arrange chickens in a large, heavy roasting pan or on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
- Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear - and chicken's internal temperature is 170 degrees.
- Remove hens from oven when they reach 170 degrees with an instant read digital thermometer.
- Tent hens with aluminum foil as hens carryover cook, do not carve for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve individual chickens on diners plates, and encourage them to carve tableside for a fun dinner!