Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
10 min
10 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon-pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each, rinsed and dried thoroughly
  • 1 green bell pepper, large dice
  • 2 stalks celery, large dice
  • 1 onion, large dice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together salt, lemon pepper, dried basil and poultry seasoning. Rub olive oil all over the hens and season each with the salt mixture. Place the hens on a baking sheet pan with plenty of space between them. You may need to use 2 pans. Loosely stuff the cavities of each hen with some green bell pepper, celery and onion. Roast the hens in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.

TIPS: Line the baking sheet pan with foil under the wire rack for an easy clean-up. The veggies and herbs stuffed in the cavities of the hens will impart flavor to the meat as it cooks. Be sure not to crowd the hens on the baking sheets or else the skin won't crisp up properly and they will take much longer to cook.

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Pairs Well With

Rich, buttery white wine

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4.7 121
Thank you! It was easy and tasty! We just purchased our first home and hosted my in-laws for the first time. Prior to this my mother-in-law was convinced I didn't know how to cook (she has never had my cooking before this, I'm a decent cook), however everyone enjoyed it. The father in law couldn't stop raving about the hen, which made my MIL a bit upset. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this for my New Year's dinner and it was fantastic! Just followed the recipe and it was moist and tender. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! The juiciest hens ever! Prepared them for Thanksgiving :) paired with Spinach Souffle and Pumpkin Pudding :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe! We had candied yams as a side dish with white wine and it paired well... We will use this one again* item not reviewed by moderator and published
Most delicious cornish game hen recipe ever! The mixture of seasonings and vegetables makes the meat taste amazing. We tossed diced raw potatoes with Olive oil, fresh garlic, coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and roasted them in a separate pan, next to the cornish hens, at 375 for an hour. Right before we served the meal, we added the browned potatoes to the cornish hen and veggie juices.. Really good.. Mmm item not reviewed by moderator and published
As a novice in the kitchen I was so proud of myself after making this recipe. I substituted green bells with pineapple because I didn't want to go grocery shopping! In between bites I kept exclaiming "oh my gosh, I can't believe I made this!" - and neither could my husband. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanks a lot for this excellent recipe; easy and tasty! My husband and my 2 sons really like it. Along with the ingredients, I added 2 tablespooons of honey to the mixture, and the chicken turned out really good and had nice brown color. I will make it again, definitely. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm all for the spices...but NEVER put a cornish game hen flat in a pan... NO NO NO NO.... here's my "secret"... take a bundt pan or 2 -- depending on how many hens you're roasting... take a piece of aluminum foil wide enough to cover a bundt pan ... put the foil over the bundt pan and mold it to fit down inside the pan but most importantly OVER the post in the center of the bundt pan... next - you can literally roll your hen in soy sauce mixed with liquid smoke (this blackens and crispies the outside of the hen) - next roll it in your spices - and spread open the bottom of the hen and slide it down over the post of the bundt pan.... this "magic" has an equal flow of heat from inside the bird going out as there is on the outside of the hen flowing in. the excess juice flows down into the foil giving you a crispy bird on all sides. I bake at 380 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. be sure to put your baked potatoes in the oven for the duration... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy & Tasty. I made this for a pre-Christmas dinner and it was also my first time ever making cornish hens. They were easy to cook and tasted great. Best part was that I have leftovers that I am going to use to make a soup, just like Thanksgiving but smaller. I served with Ina's Zucchini Gratin and a recipe for Roasted Aioli Pearl Potatoes that I found on the back of a package. Perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my first time ever cooking Cornish Hens, and let me say, I rocked it! I have never used seasonings outside of my comfort zone and these seasoning combinations worked for me! My husband and I enjoyed this recipe! I will definitely see Cornish Hens in my future item not reviewed by moderator and published

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