About This Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe
A one-pot recipe to create a succulent and fancy dinner, this roasted Cornish hen made with potatoes and carrots is the perfect family meal.
Cornish game hen, or a Rock Cornish game hen, is a particular variety of broiler chicken that looks exactly like a miniature chicken.
In the 1950s, Connecticut farmers Alphonsine (Therese) and Jacques Makowsky bred the Cornish chicken with different chickens like a Malayan ﬁghting cock and a White Plymouth Rock hen to create the Cornish hen. This Cornish game hen matures quickly, developing large breasts and fatty skin. This little game hen is served young, weighing approximately 900 g (two pounds).
The Cornish hen is versatile and can be easily adapted to any whole chicken recipe. The best part? Because of its small size, it cooks through more quickly than a regular chicken. It also tastes similar to chicken but with a slightly milder ﬂavor, and notwithstanding its name, there is nothing gamy about it whatsoever.
Because of their petite size, Cornish hens are perfect to serve one person or be divided in half and served with some tasty sides like these roasted potatoes and carrots.
With such meals, I always find less to be better. So, for this recipe, I went with just a few simple and fresh seasonings, like sprigs of rosemary and thyme, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil.
This roasted Cornish hen is fresh, herby, and has a bright touch of citrus. Served with roasted potatoes and carrots, it is a stunning yet simple and easy dinner recipe, perfect for any occasion.
What You Need for This Roasted Cornish Hen Recipe
- Cornish Hen: They are miniature chickens with a mild ﬂavor that cooks through more quickly than a regular chicken. I usually buy them frozen and thaw them in the fridge overnight.
- Fresh Herbs: I have used fresh rosemary and thyme to give the hen a lovely aromatic ﬂavor.
- Lemon: It adds a fantastic lemony ﬂavor to the entire dish.
- Garlic: It has an intense ﬂavor that is perfect for roasting and blends nicely with all the aromas.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It helps the herbs stick to the hen and makes the skin crispy.
- Veggies: I have used potatoes and carrots for a complete one-pot meal.
- Herbs: I have used fresh rosemary and thyme, but you may also use oregano or other herbs you have on hand including dried herbs.
- Vegetables: I have used potatoes and carrots, but you can use other vegetables that you like or even skip them.
What can I do with the leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container or in the freezer for 1 to 3 months. Just reheat them in the microwave or a warm oven when ready to serve. You can also use the leftovers for delicious salads.
Roasted Cornish Hen With Potatoes and Carrots
This roasted Cornish hen ﬂavored with a blend of thyme, rosemary, and lemon zest and served with potatoes and carrots is a tasty, filling, hearty meal to serve at family dinners.
Yield: 2 servings
How To Make Roasted Cornish Hen Step By Step
Preheat the oven at 230℃ (450℉).
Remove the stem and ﬁnely chop the rosemary and thyme, keeping aside one sprig of each. Wash and dice the potatoes and carrots and place them in a large casserole dish or roasting pan.
Add the peeled garlic cloves. Season with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon ﬁnely chopped rosemary and thyme, and mix well.
Mix the remaining ﬁnely chopped herbs with the extra virgin olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl. Pat the Cornish hen dry with a kitchen towel, season with salt and pepper, and brush the mix of oil, herbs, and lemon zest over the entire hen.
Put a slice of lemon and a sprig of thyme and rosemary inside the hen, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Place the hen in the casserole dish or roasting pan over the potatoes and carrots, cover it, transfer it to the preheated oven, reduce the heat to 200℃ (400℉), and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the cover and bake for another 20 minutes or just until the hen reaches 70℃ (165℉) and vegetables are tender. If you measure the temperature, make sure the thermometer does not touch the bone of the hen.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes, then serve.
- If you want extra crispy skin, sprinkle some salt over the hen 12 or 24 hours before you roast it, and then pat dry the excess moisture and salt before adding the herbs.
- Trussing the legs of the hen is optional, but I recommend it because it helps cook the chicken evenly and makes for a prettier presentation.
- Make sure the hen is not overcooked by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and check that the temperature is 70℃ (165℉).