Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary Recipe -
Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary Recipe
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Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary
See how to make impressive roasted game hens with a savory white wine sauce. See more

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

Recipe by  

"Crusty garlic bread and a nice light Chianti wine complement this meal very well."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 20 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 15, 2004

Oh my goodness!! We had this for dinner last night, whith a roaster chicken instead of hens. This was unbelievable! I put some minced garlic in the cavity along with the lemons and rosemary. I put a mixture of 1/4c, butter, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, juice from 1 quarter of the lemon and some dried crushed rosemary(I mashed this all together) and put in under the breast skin. It mad the breast meat super flavorful and tender. I used minced garlic instead of cloves, and it burnt during the roasting part(425) so if you ar doing the minced garlic, you might want to add part of the wine and broth mixture so that it wont burn. The gravy was delicious, I did however add a little cornstarch to thicken it up. Served this with Gourmet Sweet Potato Cassarole(on this site), Basic Yankee Bread Stuffing(on this site), Mashed Potatoes, Green beans, Mushrooms and Cranberries. I also did as someone suggested to put mushrooms into the juices the last 20 minutes of cooking. What a meal!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 14, 2008

This was my first time making any kind of whole poultry (I know!) and the recipe couldn't have been easier. I definitely added some stock to the pan right away like other suggested and I'm glad I did - the garlic definitely would have burned. I almost tripled the sauce for two hens and had a little bit of sauce left over. Next time I'll definitely season the inside of the bird before stuffing it with lemon and rosemary.

Oct 17, 2007

We loved the hens! I halved the recipe and roasted just 2. I used a roaster pan without the lid and found the time specified in the recipe was just right. Like others suggested, I added chicken broth to the garlic in the pan so the garlic wouldn't burn and that worked well. I also doubled the gravy as others suggested and that was a good idea. Great recipe - it's a keeper!

Dec 30, 2003

This is the best cornish game hen recipe I have ever found. It is absolutley wonderful. Since there are only two in my house, I made two games hens, but left the wine and broth the same (basically the sauce I kept the same) and it turned out perfectly. If I used four hens, I would double the sauce because when I boiled the sauce down it was perfect for two hens. ABSOLUTLEY WONDERFUL. Thank you for a new favorite, and very moist, game hen recipe...Shannon

Aug 09, 2005

Was actually very easy, and tasted great, BUT....I think you need to cook them a bit longer. (It could be my oven) Break the thigh open and check for doneness. Even though my thermometer read 181, it was still very pink down in the thigh area. Instead of a roasting rack, I cubed sweet potato and put the hens on top of them to roast. Mmmmmmmm! All of the juices from the hens, oil and lemons drizzled down on them and it was Scrumtious!

Oct 25, 2003

we loved this recipe. I used a whole 4 lb chicken instead of the cornish hens and it turned out great. I did not use the lemons as suggested (did't have them) so I stuffed the bird with a whole yellow onion quartered and dried rosemary *again did not have fresh). I also doubled the white wine/chicken stock mixture. my only suggestion would be to put a little chicken stock in the pan with the cloves of galic at the start so the garlic will not burn.

Nov 14, 2006

I make this often. I always add extra rosemary and lemons for extra flavor. We like to use the garlic after to spread on bread!!

Dec 25, 2005

These were tasty! Very simple too- except I was short on time so I cut down on the garlic and didn't reduce the sauce. I also used dried rosemary and omitted the wine, just using extra broth and a little bit of apple juice. These were great for Christmas dinner.


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  • Calories
  • 814 kcal
  • 41%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 9.7 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 340 mg
  • 113%
  • Fat
  • 57.5 g
  • 88%
  • Fiber
  • 1.8 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 59.4 g
  • 119%
  • Sodium
  • 1383 mg
  • 55%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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