Roasted Cornish Hens

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1.25 hours
  • Category: Poultry
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Cornish hens are so versatile and utterly delicious. These The Ultimate Roasted Cornish Game Hens can easily take on your favorite whole chicken recipe in a fraction of the time. Perfect for that WOW factor at a dinner party!

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  • 6 Rock Cornish Hens, thawed (~1.4 lb each) *See note
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Remove birds from wrapping, remove gizzards (inside stuff) and pat dry inside and out. Place a cooling rack on a baking pan. Place them breast-side up on the cooling rack inside of the pan.
  2. In a bowl combine the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme to make a soft, but spreadable herbed butter. Carefully separate the skin from the breast. Spread about 2 tablespoon of the butter between the skin and breast of each bird. Smooth skin back down to cover the meat. Rub the olive oil all over the birds and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Roast at 450F for 20 minutes. the reduce the heat to 350F. Continue roasting about 40 more minutes or when the thickest part of the meat reaches 165F. Baste occasionally with pan juices. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


If your hens are larger than 1.4 lbs each you’ll want to increase the cooking time when the temperature is reduced to 350F to about 50-60 minutes.

The most important thing is to check the temp!

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