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Cornish hens make a wonderful departure from your normal chicken dishes ones of the many reasons we love them is because they make for the perfect individualized meals; they present beautifully and are full of flavor and charm! We decided to approach these birds in a pretty simplistic fashion: a little spiced herb rub and some white wine — does it get any easier? If you’re looking for a new dish to try around the holidays, or are just curious about how these flyers compare to other meat (very well, we think!), you should give them a try and see how they spruce up your normal cooking fare — you’ll love them!

Cornish Hens

Serves 4


  • 4 Cornish game hens, giblets removed
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425º F and place oven rack in middle position.
  2. Rinse hens and pat dry with paper towels. Season cavities generously with salt and pepper, then add 1 sprig rosemary in each.
  3. Season outside of hens with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine paprika, oregano and olive oil, and whisk together.
  5. Place hens in a roasting pan and rub spice mixture all over them. Scatter garlic around hens.
  6. Place in oven and roast for 25 minutes. Pour white wine and chicken broth over the hens, then lower oven temperature to 350º F.
  7. Continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes, or until hens are a deep, golden brown and thickest part of thigh registers as 165º F with a meat thermometer.
  8. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Serve warm.

    Optional: to make a gravy, transfer roasting pan to stove top (or pour off cooking liquids into a saucepan, making sure to scrape the roasting pans for all the drippings) and add 1-1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Cook until mixture reduces slightly, then add equal parts butter and flour to make a smooth, paste-like sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day

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