Heather's Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens

Heather's Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens

Made  times
Shawnna Boles 1

"This recipe does just as well with a full chicken as it does with Cornish hens. The meat is tender and flavorful, and absolutely the best I've ever had! Don't leave the hens in the brine for too long, or the meat will be too salty."
I Made it Rate it Share Print
Added to shopping list. Go to shopping list.


5 h 20 m servings
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings


On Sale

What's on sale near you.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Bring the vegetable broth, 4 1/2 cups of water, the allspice berries, black peppercorns, and kosher salt to a boil in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove the brine from the heat, and set aside to cool. When the brine is cool, place the Cornish hens into the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the game hens from the brine, and pat dry. Discard the brine.
  3. Place the cut-up grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, rosemary, and thyme into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 2 minutes; with tongs, stuff the fruit and herbs into the cavities of the Cornish hens. Slather each hen with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the stuffed hens into a roasting dish, breast sides up.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). For extra-crispy skin, turn the oven heat up to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Allow the hens to rest for 10 minutes before serving.



Since creating this recipe, I've made some changes to it and have begun to use it with turkey. For the brine, I boil 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (using it is a shortcut to making it yourself w...

This was out-of-this-world delicious! I was short on time, so I only brined my birds for about 1 1/2 hours (mine were small, so this was sufficient). My hens were done after 1 1/2 hours in the ...

There was only one cornish hen left at Wholefoods so I decided to get a whole young chicken instead to make dinner for my girlfriend and myself as our post Christmas dinner. The chicken came out...


I made this today for Thanksgiving since we were only 3 for the holiday, and this was FABULOUS! The only difference was I used a whole chicken because the store marked up the cornish hens to a r...

Great simple recipe. Made for Valentine's Day and I only had enough time to leave my hens in the brine for 1 1\2 hours. They cooked up nice and juicy.

I made this recipe for Christmas Dinner and my family all thought it was delicious! The meat was so juicy and flavorful! I can't wait to make it again for company!

From around the web