Cornish Game Hens

Cornish Game HensYou’ve probably seen Cornish game hens in the meat case or even in the frozen section and wondered what they were and even more importantly, how do you eat them?

Cornish hens are the smallest of the commercial chicken family. Normally weighing between one to two pounds, they have a great chicken flavor with meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender. And, because of their small size and affordable price, they are the perfect one-person portion for dinner. They are also a great alternative at Thanksgiving for those who don’t like turkey.

Cooking a game hen is as easy as cooking a regular-sized chicken—although you do have to adjust the time down. Roasting is by far the best way to prepare these hens. However, nothing should stop you from braising or throwing a couple on your grill. Check out our recipe for Lemon-Rosemary Game Hens in our archive.

How To Roast a Cornish Game Hen
Roast game hens in a 45º0 F oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest breast meat registers 155º F (about 20 to 25 minutes).

After you pull the chicken from the oven, tent it with foil and let it rest undisturbed for at least 10 minutes to let the temperature come up another five to ten degrees and enjoy!

Seasoned Cornish Game Hens Recipe
Adapted from Phuong for All Recipes
Yields 4 servings

1 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
ground black pepper to taste
4 1.5-pound Cornish game hens
4 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven
Preheat oven to 325º F

Make the marinade
In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, and pepper. Place the Cornish game hens in the mixture, and marinate for 10 minutes.

Bake the hens
Transfer the Cornish game hens to a large baking dish, and pour the marinade mixture over them. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

Baste the hens and finish baking
Remove the cover from the baking dish, and place 1 tablespoon of butter on each hen. Increase the oven temperature to 350º F. Continue to bake the hens for an additional 30 minutes while basting frequently with the marinade mixture. The hens are ready when their exterior is lightly browned and crisp, the interior is no longer pink, and juices run clear.

Comments are closed.