Award-Winning Cornish Game Hen Recipe That Will Leave Your Taste Buds Satisfied

Hello foodies! Are you always on the lookout for unique recipes that you can add to your kitchen repertoire? Look no further because we’ve got something that will surely satisfy your taste buds! In this article, we’re going to share with you an award-winning recipe that features a beloved ingredient in the world of gourmet cuisine: Cornish game hen.

Award-Winning Cornish Game Hen Recipe That Will Leave Your Taste Buds Satisfied

But before we dive into the recipe itself, let’s talk briefly about Cornish game hens. These small birds are actually not game birds at all, but rather a crossbreed of different chicken varieties. Due to their tender and juicy meat, they have become a popular alternative to regular chicken in gourmet cooking. They also cook faster than regular chickens, which makes them an excellent choice for busy cooks who want to whip up an impressive meal in a short amount of time. So, without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Cornish Game Hen Recipe

What Is Cornish Game Hen?

Cornish game hen is a small chicken that is harvested at six weeks old. Although it is commonly referred to as a game bird, it is not actually a game bird. The name “Cornish” comes from the breed of chicken that is used to produce this small bird. They are often served as individual portions, making them a unique addition to any meal.

Ingredients Needed

To make this delicious Cornish game hen recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Steps to Make Cornish Game Hen

This recipe involves a few simple steps, but the end result is a deliciously seasoned Cornish game hen with a crispy golden-brown skin.

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Using a paper towel, pat the Cornish game hens dry and remove any excess moisture.
  3. Combine the melted butter, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl to create the seasoning mixture.
  4. Using a brush, coat each Cornish game hen in the seasoning mixture, making sure to cover them evenly on all sides.
  5. Place the Cornish game hens in a baking dish, breast-side up.
  6. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  7. Remove from the oven and let the Cornish game hens rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your deliciously seasoned Cornish game hens as a unique and flavorful addition to any meal. They pair well with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.

Tips for Cooking Cornish Game Hen

Cornish game hens are a delicious alternative to traditional chicken and are perfect for a small dinner party or intimate meal. To ensure the best result, here are some tips to keep in mind when cooking Cornish game hen:

Choosing the Right Size

When selecting Cornish game hens, it is important to choose ones that are no more than 2 pounds. This is because smaller hens cook more evenly and are more tender and flavorful. If the hens are larger than 2 pounds, they may require longer cooking time, which can result in dry, tough meat. Look for young hens that are between 1-2 pounds for the best result.

Brining the Hen

Brining the hen for a few hours before cooking can help keep it moist and flavorful. Brining is the process of soaking the hen in a saltwater solution, which allows the meat to absorb moisture and flavor. To brine the hen, dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in 1 quart of water. Add any desired herbs or spices to the brine solution, such as garlic, thyme, or rosemary. Submerge the hens in the brine and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Rinse the hens with water and pat dry before cooking.

Letting it Rest

After removing the hen from the oven, it is beneficial to let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. Resting the hen ensures that the meat stays moist and tender. During the cooking process, the juices are forced towards the center of the meat. Allowing the hen to rest before carving the meat allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful meal. Cover the hen with foil to keep it warm while resting.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Cornish game hen turns out moist, tender, and flavorful. Experiment with different seasoning and preparation methods to create your own signature recipe that will impress your family and friends!

Serving Suggestions


If you’re looking for a delicious and elegant main course to serve at your next dinner party, cornish game hen is an excellent choice. These small birds are delicious, juicy, and versatile, pairing well with a wide variety of sides to create a meal that will impress any guest.

One of the best things about cornish game hen is their ability to match well with different flavors. They’re great with roasted vegetables, especially carrots, parsnips, and brussel sprouts. They also pair well with potatoes, whether they’re mashed, roasted or fried. For a lighter option, try serving the hens with a crisp salad or a side of steamed green beans, sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Wine Pairings

When it comes to choosing the ideal wine to match with cornish game hen, there are a few things to consider. A good option is a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir. This type of wine is not too overpowering and provides a great balance for the meat’s flavor. For those who prefer white wines, Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent choice. This wine’s bright and refreshing profile complements the game hen’s flavor without overpowering it.

Of course, there are other good wine options to choose from, including a Chardonnay or a Riesling. Regardless of your preference, a light to medium-bodied wine, with crisp acidity or mild tannins, is the best complement to the hens’ taste.

Presentation Tips

Looking for a dramatic presentation that will wow your guests? Garnish your cornish game hen with sprigs of rosemary or thyme, which will add both color and flavor. Lemon wedges are another great addition, providing a tangy punch that cuts through the richness of the meat. Place the hens on a platter or individual plates, and you have an elegant and visually appealing meal that is sure to impress.

In conclusion, cornish game hen is a perfect choice for any elegant dinner party. With its versatility, it pairs well with a wide variety of sides and offers a unique gastronomical experience. When selecting wine to complement your hens, remember to stick to light or medium-bodied wines, such as Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Finally, make sure to present your dish to your guests with style by garnishing your hens with rosemary or thyme and lemon wedges, which will add both flavor and elegance.

Thanks for Exploring Our Cornish Game Hen Recipe!

It was a pleasure sharing our award-winning recipe with you. We hope that trying it out will leave your taste buds feeling satisfied and your loved ones happy. Don’t hesitate to add your own personal twists to the recipe and make it your own. We believe that cooking is all about creativity, passion, and fun. So, keep exploring new recipes, techniques, and flavors, and let your culinary journey take you places. And remember, if you ever want to come back and try our recipe again, we will always welcome you with open arms!


1. Can I use a regular chicken instead of a Cornish game hen?

Yes, you can! However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, and you may need to adjust it accordingly.

2. Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?

Yes, you can! However, keep in mind that the flavor might not be as strong as using fresh herbs. You may need to add a bit more to compensate for the difference.

3. Can I prepare the marinade the night before?

Absolutely! Preparing the marinade in advance can save you time and help the flavors develop better.

4. Can I marinate the hen for longer than 3 hours?

Yes, you can! However, be careful not to marinate it for too long, as the meat can become mushy and start to break down.

5. Can I use a different type of vinegar?

Yes, you can! However, keep in mind that different types of vinegar may have different tastes and acidity levels, which may affect the overall flavor of the dish.

6. Can I use a different type of oil?

Yes, you can! However, keep in mind that different oils have different smoke points and flavors, which may affect the cooking process and the final taste of the dish.

7. Can I stuff the hen with other ingredients?

Yes, you can! However, be careful not to overstuff it, as the skin can rip and the meat can cook unevenly.

8. Can I cook the hen on the grill?

Yes, you can! However, be careful not to overcook it, as it can dry out quickly.

9. Can I use the leftover hen for other dishes?

Yes, you can! Leftover hen can be used in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, and more. Let your imagination run wild!

10. Can I freeze the leftover hen?

Yes, you can! Cooked hen can be frozen for up to 6 months. However, be aware that the texture and flavor may change slightly after defrosting, so it’s best to use it in recipes that require further cooking.

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About the Author: David Dunlap

Worked in restaurants for years before turning to food writing and has won multiple awards for the work, including more than a dozen awards.

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