Easy Roasted Cornish Hen, the perfect one-pot meal for any weeknight or holiday dinner! This recipe made the Cornish hen tasty and juicy! It's the most flavorful, comforting, and crowd-pleasing dish that everyone will love!
Today, I want to share a good recipe for Cornish Hen. In this Roasted Cornish Hen recipe, you will learn how to cook game hens in the oven in the easiest way. As a bonus, I will include step-by-step instructions for cooking cornish hens in an instant pot or air fryer. So, please keep reading!
- Why You'll Love This Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe:
- What is a Cornish Game Hen
- How Does Cornish Game Hen Taste?
- Cornish Game Hen Nutrition
- How Long To Cook Cornish Hens
- Roasted Cornish Hen Ingredients:
- How to Thaw Cornish Hen:
- How to Make this Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe in the Oven:
- Storing the Leftover Cornish Hens
- 📖 Recipe
- To Roast Cornish Hen in an Air Fryer:
- To Cook Cornish Hen in an Instant Pot:
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love This Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe:
- Simple seasoning. The game hens are perfectly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices that you can find in your pantry.
- Crispy skin and tender meat. They have a nice crispy skin on the outside and juicy-tender meat on the inside. Additionally, the meat juices cook the veggies to perfection.
- No basting is required! This roasted cornish game hen with the mixed vegetable recipe is unbelievably simple to make. You just need to prep the hens, put them in the oven, and rotate the pan once, then most of your time would be sitting back and relaxing and thinking about how good these oven-baked hens are going to taste. No basting is required!
What is a Cornish Game Hen
Cornish hen, also known as Cornish game hen or Rock Cornish game hen is a specific breed of chicken.
The original Cornish Hen originated in the Cornwall area of England. However, the Cornish Game Hen sold in the USA was actually bred in Connecticut, back in the 1950s.
The USA's version of the Cornish Hen is a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Tock chicken breeds.
This type of broiler chicken is much smaller and younger than the regular chicken. A Cornish Game Hen must weigh no more than two pounds and has to be slaughtered before five weeks of age.
How Does Cornish Game Hen Taste?
Many people think the Cornish game hen tastes just like chicken.
Others find that it has a more subtle and lighter taste. I agree with the latter and also find that the cornish game hen has a very tender and soft texture.
With the size being smaller it gives you the ability to replace a larger chicken if you want to cook a meal for just 1-2 people (and still have that beautiful full bird presentation.
Cornish Game Hen Nutrition
Compared to other standard chicken options the cornish hen will often be leaner and have less fat and calories.
It's comprised almost entirely of white meat and has the nutritional benefit of being rich in niacin.
How Long To Cook Cornish Hens
Cornish Hens are as versatile as regular chicken. Both have the same flavor profile and can be used interchangeably in any recipe.
Because of its small size, the game hen cooks faster than a standard chicken.
In this recipe, you only need to cook the Cornish Hen along with mixed vegetables for about 50 minutes at 450°F.
Roasted Cornish Hen Ingredients:
To make this delicious Roasted Cornish Hen recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Cornish Hen
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning
- Paprika powder
- Kosher salt
- Black Pepper
- Olive oil
- A whole head of garlic
For Roasted Vegetables, you can use the combination of:
- Small potatoes
- Yellow onion
How to Thaw Cornish Hen:
Most Cornish hens are sold frozen but they thaw quickly.
To thaw cornish hens, simply put them in a big bowl to prevent leakage and store them in the refrigerator at a safe and constant temperature (40 °F or below) for about 24 to 36 hours before you want to eat them.
How to Make this Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe in the Oven:
Step 1. Season the Cornish Hen
- First, you need to pat the cornish hen dry (including the cavity) with paper towels to remove any excess moisture and prevent soggy skin!
- After that, rub seasoning mixture over both sides of the hen.
- Next, season the cavity with salt and pepper then stuff with a lemon wedge, head of garlic halved, and rosemary sprigs in the cavity of the hen.
Step 2. Prepare the Vegetables
- Peel and chop the carrots into 2-inch lengths.
- Wash and scrub the small potatoes then cut in half.
- Peel and chop the yellow onion into large chunks.
- Put the chopped vegetables in a large roasting pan, then pour the oil over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour about ½ cup of dry white wine into the vegetable mixture.
Step 3. Roast the Cornish Hens and Vegetables in the Oven
- Place the seasoned cornish hen breast-side up on top of the vegetable mixture in a large roasting pan. Do not let the hens touch the wine.
- Brush the cornish hen on both sides with olive oil.
- Truss the hen to ensure that everything cooks evenly. You can use kitchen twine to tie the legs together and tuck the wings to prevent burning (or cover the tip of the wings with foil).
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 50-60 minutes at 450°F. Rotating the pan halfway through.
Storing the Leftover Cornish Hens
You can store the leftover cornish hens in an airtight container. Properly stored, it will last 1-3 days in the fridge or 1-3 months in the freezer.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to rate it and leave a review on the recipe card/comment box below.
Check Out These Delicious Side Dish Recipes:
- Baked Mac and cheese
- Roasted Yellow Squash with Parmesan Cheese
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
Roasted Cornish Hen
- a 13" X 9½" roasting pan
- 2 Cornish Hens, (thawed) about 2 pounds each
Dry Rub Seasoning Mixture:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, (or add more according to your liking)
- 1½ teaspoons paprika powder
- black pepper, (to taste)
- 2 lemon wedges
- a whole head of garlic , (halved)
- 6 rosemary sprigs, (divided)
- kosher salt and pepper
For Roasted Vegetables:
- 1 pound small potatoes, (washed, scrubbed, and halved)
- 3-4 carrots, (peeled and chopped into large chunks, 2-inch lenghts)
- 1 large yellow onion, (chopped into large chunks)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, (to taste)
- ½ cup dry white wine, (such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and unoaked Chardonnay)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Pat the cornish hen dry (including cavity) with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine all dry rub seasoning mixture ingredients. Rub seasoning mixture over both sides and underneat the skin of the hen.
- Season the cavity of the hen with salt and pepper then stuff with one lemon wedge, head of garlic halved, and 3 rosemary sprigs.
- Tuck wing tips under the back of the hen; tie ends of legs together with twine.
- Put the chopped vegetables in a large roasting pan, then drizzle with oil. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste then pour in the dry white wine.
- Put the hens, breast side up, directly on top of vegetables. Make sure the hens are not touching the wine! Brush the hens on both sides with oil.
- Roast the hens and vegetables, uncovered, for about 50-60 minutes (depending on the size) or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the vegetables are tender. Rotating the pan halfway through roasting.
To Roast Cornish Hen in an Air Fryer:
- Follow steps #2, #3, and #4
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil spray.
- Place Cornish hen, breast side up into a preheated Air fryer. Set the temperature at 390°F and cook for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at 165°F. Flipping the hens halfway through.
To Cook Cornish Hen in an Instant Pot:
- Follow steps #2, #3, and #4
- Place a trivet in an instant pot, add a cup of broth and chopped yellow onion
- Place the hen in the trivet, put the lid on, seal, and cook on "Manual" for 20 minutes. When it's done cooking, quickly release the pressure.
- To crisp the skin, arrange the hens on the wire rack one above center position inside the broiler. Cook until crisp, about 4-6 minutes. Watch your food closely to prevent burning.
Wow! This looks so easy to make and everything bakes in one pot! It sure would make for a simple Thanksgiving meal.
This looks delicious. I love the sound of the paprika seasoning in the rub.
It's one of my favorite ingredients for dry rub!
I am happy I have just found your recipe. I never knew what to do and how to cook cornish hens sold in grocery stores. Now it is my chance to make this amazing meal.
I am glad that you found this recipe 🙂
Oh wow, what a feast! That dry rub sounds so good. I bet meat tastes so good with that rub on it. I will definitely save this recipe and make it for my family.
Perfect full meal! And the chicken was gorgeous and juicy!
Thanks for sharing your feedback, Michelle!
Hi! We're an alcohol free house. Is there anything I can use instead of wine?
You can use chicken or veggie broth instead. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I'm assumin with Instant Pot version, you place the potatoes and carrots along with the onion! That's what I'm going to do!
I highly recommend cooking the cornish hen and onion first. Remove the cornish hen from the Instant pot and crisp the skin in the oven. While you're waiting, add potatoes and carrots into the Instant Pot and cook for 3 minutes at high pressure so the vegetables won't get mushy. Please let me know how it goes.
This is a very good recipe; it's easy and quite tasty. Watch the cooking time, though. My bird was done in less than 50 minutes.
ahh thanks for the tip! Overdone and it would be too dry which is definitely not the taste people want in a cornish hen. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
I made this tonight and it was great.
I went heavy on the rub and added lemon pepper and poultry seasoning.
I did shove a tablespoon of stick butter into the cavity and 4 tablespoons on the veggies before going in the oven.
35 minutes, rotated the pan and covered it with foil, then 30 more minutes.
Probably should have done 45- 20 to brown the skin a little more.
Served with Collard and Mustard greens.
It was a perfect Easter dinner...
Thanks so much for using my recipe for your Easter dinner! I really appreciate the detailed info on what you did, super helpful for me and other readers to see that (and it sounds delicious).