Roasted Cornish Hens

with chile lemon butter

What can I say about Cornish Hens besides the obvious of them looking like a mini version of a regular chicken? Well, for one thing, they taste a whole hell of a lot better. Not only are they richer in flavor, but they also have a lot more meat on the bone and an extremely awesome texture that is out of this world delicious.

You can pretty much cook them the same way you would a normal chicken, however there are a few things to keep in mind. The meat is super delicate and can dry out to a crisp if over cooked so it is important to monitor it while in the oven.   They also tend to be a little pricier depending on where you buy them. At the specialty market near me they are about a full $2 more compared to the chain grocery store up the road. It’s all about the quality not the quantity.

Anything roasted in the oven is good, and that includes these Cornish hen beauties. By loosening the skin on the hens and then shoving butter underneath it, creates a moist skin like no other. Flavored butter adds a little zing to the mix and is a fabulous way to add flavor to anything. I love flavored butter and usually keep a few of them in my refrigerator at a time. They are not only easy to make, but they go great with eggs, on toasted sandwiches or thrown it with vegetables when sautéing them on the stovetop. They also have a great shelf life of at least up to 3 months.

So let’s get it together and roast some baby hens!


  • 2 Cornish Hens, rinsed and cleaned
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


Chile Lemon Butter Ingredients

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 bunch of Chopped Parsley (about ¼ c.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter, softened


  1. Make the flavored butter by creaming the softened butter with a hand mixer in a bowl. Add all the ingredients together and whip until blended. With a sheet of plastic wrap place the softened butter on top and wrap it up while molding it into a cylinder shape. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until hardened.
  2. Rinse and clean the Cornish Hens. Remove the giblets from the inside crevice and throw them away (you can keep them if you want to make a gravy from. I opt not too).
  3. Pat the hens dry. With a small pairing knife carefully slide it under the skin to loosen it.
  4. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and cut small tabs (about ½ Tbsp.) and place under the skin of the hens. I also cut some tabs and place inside the crevice as well. Salt and pepper the hens.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for about 1 hour (depending on hen size). Cover with tin foil for the first 1/3 hour and then uncovered for the remaining cooking time.
  6. Remove from the oven and place a few more tabs of butter on top of the hens. Cover with foil and then let the hens rest for about 10 mins. Then serve!
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