Roast Cornish Game Hens

One of my favorite stories from my family and the days before I was born was back when my Dad was a bachelor he always made Cornish Game Hens for his date.  So this has been on my ‘to do list’ for a while.  Luckily, I found a perfect occasion for it – Sit Down Dinner with my girls.
This dish is great to serve for a dinner party, or even a dinner for two.  It may take about an hour to cook, but it is easy to prepare any sides during that cooking time.
3 Cornish Game Hens, patted dry
3 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
12 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Rosemary sprigs (for garnish)
Most Cornish Hens are sold near the other frozen poultry, so defrosting in time is important.  Place frozen hens in cold water in the bottom shelf of your fridge for 24 hours. Replace the water as needed.  You’ll need to rinse the hens before cooking after taking them out of the package.


In a small bowl mix together well 2 tablespoons of the butter with chopped sage.
Loosen the skin covering the breast meat on each hen by slipping your fingers under the skin and sliding them between the skin and the meat. Divide the butter mixture between the hens, inserting it under the skin of each hen and smoothing it evenly by rubbing the outside of the skin.


Season the cavity and outside of the hens with salt and pepper.
Scatter garlic around hens.
Roast hens at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Baste. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Pour, lemon juice over the hens.
Continue basting every 10 minutes, for about 25 more minutes or until hen is 165 degrees. (It will continue to cook after being taken out.) Note: the basting is what helps the skin become crispy while the meat is cooking.

Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut hens in half and lay on platter.
(You can use the sauce left behind to make a delicious gravy… I ran out of time!)
Hens Resting… ZZzzz
I love seeing the fresh sage under the crispy skin!
Arrange on plate with rosemary (and spoon sauce over hens if you make it.)
Is it just me, or are they spooning?!?!


Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve. J
Additional Side Dishes served

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