Cornish Hens Juicier Than Chicken Recipe


Cornish hens are a fantastic alternative to traditional chicken when you’re looking for a dish that’s not only delicious but also offers a juicier and more tender result. Their smaller size allows for quicker cooking & easier moisture retention. Here’s a recipe that highlights the natural juiciness of Cornish hens while infusing them with flavorful herbs and aromatics:

Herb-Roasted Juicy Cornish Hens Recipe

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1.5 to 2 pounds each)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Remove the Cornish hens from their packaging and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, salt, & black pepper in a small bowl to create a herb-infused marinade.
  4. Gently loosen the skin of the hens by running your fingers between the skin & the meat, being careful not to tear it.
  5. Rub the herb mixture under the skin of the hens, massaging it onto the meat.
  6. Season the inside of the hens with a bit of salt and pepper.
  7. Stuff each cavity with lemon quarters, onion quarters, and sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme.
  8. Tie the legs with kitchen string to keep the birds’ form during roasting.
  9. Place the hens in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, breast side up.
  10. Roast the hens in the preheated oven for approx 45-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  11. About halfway through the cooking time, baste the hens with the juices that accumulate in the pan. This helps keep them moist & adds flavor.
  12. Once cooked, remove the hens from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
  13. Serve the herb-roasted Cornish hens with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy!

Tips for Juicy Cornish Hens

  • Brining: Consider bringing the Cornish hens in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and aromatics for a few hours before cooking. This helps lock in moisture and enhance flavor.
  • Even Cooking: To ensure even cooking, tie the legs together as mentioned and tuck the wings behind the back.
  • Temperature Accuracy: Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature accurately. This prevents overcooking and dryness.
  • Resting: Allowing the hens to rest before carving lets the juices redistribute, resulting in a slice of juicier and more tender meat.


By following these steps and embracing the natural flavors of the Cornish hens, you’ll create a dish that’s not only visually appealing but also exceptionally juicy and full of delicious herb-infused taste.

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