Roasted Cornish Hens

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
20 min
1 hr

2 servings

  • 2 cornish hens, rinsed
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 branch fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the hens dry with a cloth. Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice into a medium bowl. Stuff hen cavities with half lemon, 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 branch of fresh rosemary. Add honey, oil and salt and pepper to lemon juice and blend together. Baste the hens with the lemon honey sauce. Place in a small roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat and continue roasting for 20 to 30 minutes basting the hens occasionally. Roast the hens until the juices run clear from the thigh. Transfer hens to cutting board and let sit for 10 minutes. Place roasting pan on stove burner and stir in white wine. Bring to a simmer and scrape brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in chicken stock and simmer. Serve hens hot with sauce.

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    14 Reviews
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    Quick, easy to make, very moist and tasty. I didn't have rosemary so I used a rosemary blended seasoning (from Pampered Chef) which worked well. I also didn't make the sauce at the end. But the basting juices were heavenly to sop up with some crusty French bread I had left over from last nights dinner. I too was a bit annoyed when the recipe said to turn down the heat after the first 20 minutes, but didn't say to what.......but I figured it out. I turned it down to 350 for 20 mins then 300 for 10 minutes. For those who said their hens took too long to cook, it helps to take them out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to take the chill off them before going in the oven. Also, if you are doubling or tripling the recipe, you need to compensate for that as well.
    Too plain and cooking time was not nearly enough. Added another 20 minutes, sat for 10 min and still was a little undone. Followed recipe to a T.
    It ruined my Christmas dinner because it took twice as long to cook. Everything was ready to go but the birds.
    I made the hens with sage instead of rosemary. The presentation was beautiful and the sauce (just butter added to hens while they cooked) was very tasty. I agree with other users the breast meat was a bit dry but the sauce solved that problem.
    I also noticed that the recipe does not state what temperature to lower the ove to after the first 20 mins, but I did 350 degrees. This was easy to prepare and the hens were moist and flavorful.
    I expected some flavor to come through the hens from the lemon, garlic and rosemary but to me the hens were totally bland. My husband said they were ok but not great. I didn't make the sauce because the hens took longer to cook than I anticipated so I can't comment on it. Maybe if I'd taken the time to make it, we would have enjoyed it a little more. I won't be using this recipe again.
    I tried this and the first thing I noticed was after 20 minutes you reduce the heat but the recipe doesn't say by how much you reduce it. I reduced it to 350 for 10 minutes then basted it then to 300 for 20 minutes and continued to baste. They came out moist enough but not really that flavorful with out adding the sauce which the rest of my family did not care for.
    This is an easy and very tasty way to prepare cornish hens. The sauce is delicious over potatoes, too. Highly recommended!
    I was surprised at how easy this recipe was. The lemon gave it a nice bright flavor. The hen was very moist. I did not make the sauce, and even without it, there was a ton of flavor.
    this was very easy to follow & really flavorful! It made trying something new turn out wonderfully!
    The cornish hens were okay.The breast meat was a little dry.I had to dip every bite into the sauce.
    The stuffed lemon (& lemon baste) keep the hens moist while they roast and gives them a fresh, lemon burst sweetened by the honey; the rosemary and garlic add a hint of spice. The sauce is yummy, and is great over white rice. I also served it with glazed carrots.
    It was quick and easy to do. The cornish hens were very juicy and flavorful.
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