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cornish hens in dish

The Best, Easy Roasted Cornish Hens

Slow roasted juicy cornish hens pair perfectly with carrots, fingerling potatoes and onions all in a delicious chicken broth and coated with butter and lots of great spices. These adorable little cornish hens add the perfect touch of elegance to your next dinner and are so deceptively easy to make. They are easy to prepare and go so well with vegetables for a hearty but healthy and gourmet dinner.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Servings 2


  • 2 cornish hens if frozen, thawed completely (also see notes!)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter cut into thin slices
  • 3 large carrots washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 lb petite fingerling potatoes cut into bit sized pieces
  • 1 small brown onion chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into slices
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped roughly

Spices to sprinkle over the top of the hens and on the veggies

  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, allspice, thyme


  • Preheat the oven to 375F and prepare a deep oven pan, about 9x13 inches.
  • To prepare the cornish hens, dry them with a paper towel first. Using your fingers, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter slices under the skin over the breast and leg meat. Place each cornish hen into the pan, one after the other. To the inside cavity of each hen add the lemon slices and one clove of garlic to each one.
  • After you've chopped the onion, peeled the carrots, and washed the potatoes, add these and the other garlic cloves to the pan all around the hens. Pour the chicken broth over the hens and onto the vegetables and all around the pan. Melt the last bit of butter and pour it over top of the hens and add all of the spices generously to the top skin of each hen all over, and to the vegetables.
  • Cover the hens with foil and bake for 1 hour at 375 F. Move up the oven temperature to 400F and remove the foil and continue to bake uncovered for 30 minutes to get that perfect golden brown color. Serve and enjoy!


To prep the cornish hens, make sure they are fully thawed and the gizzards are removed.  I also like to snip the very tips of the wings, cut the little tail, and remove any excess fat near or inside of the cavity area. 
I always stuff my cornish hens with filling, but this recipe only includes the hens and not the stuffing recipe - stuffing recipe coming soon! 
Keyword cornish hen, easy, fall, healthy, holiday, thanksgiving, vegetables