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Cornish Game Hen Recipes

Updated on October 13, 2017

Cornish Game Hen Recipes

Despite what many people think, the Cornish Game Hen is not a game bird at all. The term "Cornish Game Hen" is simply a young domesticated Cornish chicken slaughtered at about five weeks of age, as opposed to six or more weeks for your average chicken. Because of their youth, the Cornish Game Hen is smaller (about two pounds) and usually has a lighter taste than a fully mature chicken. I have found several great recipes for cooking the birds here.

Public domain photo courtesy Wikipedia/Davey Boy

Since the Cornish game hen is smaller than the chicken, they do take less time to prepare, usually less than an hour. You should still observe precautions regarding appropriate cooking temperatures, making sure that the meat reaches a solid 160 degrees or more.

Roasted Cornish Game Hens With Herbes de Provence

Here is a very easy recipe for cooking roasted game hens. The total time to prepare and cook this dish is less than one hour.


Two (32 ounce) Rock Cornish game hens, thawed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 minced garlic cloves

1/4 cup dried herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

(2 teaspoons dried basil, marjoram, rosemary and sage or thyme can be

substituted for herbes de Provence)

Preparation and Cooking:

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. To split game hens, place on cutting surface, breast side up. Using kitchen shears, cut breast in half, starting from neck end. Turn hen over. With shears, cut down both sides of back bone, discard back bone or save for stock. Place halves in shallow glass baking dish. Add remaining ingredients, crushing herbes de Provence before adding. Turn to coat hens evenly with mixture. Let stand 10 minutes. Place rack in shallow roasting pan large enough to hold game hens in one layer. With pastry brush, brush all of oil mixture over hens. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or till golden brown and internal temperature reaches 185 degrees F.

*Roasted Cornish Game Hens With Herbes de Provence Creative Commons recipe courtesy Chef Red Hawk

Cornish Game Hen and Orange Sauce

This dish takes slightly longer to prepare than the herb recipe above, but if you like orange glaze or sauce on your poultry then this is a recipe for you.


Two thawed Cornish Game Hens

Juice of 4-6 medium oranges or 1 cup orange juice

Zest of one orange (grate the skin and stop when you see the white, bitter, rind)

1/4 stick of butter or 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup of honey

1 teaspoon of corn starch or flour

Mix and heat the orange mixture until it thickens; about 3-5 minutes.


Bake the whole birds at 375 degrees for a hour to a hour and a half. Baste cornish hens 3 or 4 times during baking. Check for doneness by piercing thigh with a fork to see when juices run clear. Cooking takes longer than package directions when you frequently open the oven to baste.

*Cornish Game Hen and Orange Sauce Creative Commons recipe courtesy The 99 Cent Chef

Slow Cooker Pulled Game Hen

This is a very simple recipe, but it does take several hours to cook in the slow cooker.


One Cornish Game Hen

One small onion (diced)

One cup BBQ sauce


Wash and clean Cornish Hen, inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the game hen into appropriate piece and season with salt and pepper. Place in a the slow cooker and pour over the BBQ sauce, and add the diced onion. Cook on high for 3-4 hours until chicken is nice and tender and comes clean off the bone.

Serve as a sandwich or with other side dishes. You can also use the leftover sauce as an au jus to dip the meat and bread.

*Slow-Cooker Pulled Game Hen Creative Commons recipe courtesy Breadplusbutter

Cornish Game Hen Recipe

Thoughts on this Hub? - Feel free to comment here.

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      All your recipes sound delicious! Orange, herbs or BBQ....just can't go wrong!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I always feel very elegant when serving cornish game hens. They just seem special and look so nice on the plate.


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