Garlic and Herb Cornish Hens

I love Cornish game hens and they are very cheap and simple to make, but taste very good and make for an impressive meal for company. I found these at the local supermarket for a buck a piece and grabbed up a few of them.

Adapted from

This serves 4-6, I cut it in half for just the two of us.




  • 4 small game hens
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme-I used dried Italian Mix
  • 8 whole basil leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, very thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


Heat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a large baking dish or roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Wash hens and pat dry. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper and arrange in the baking dish.

Mix butter with the chopped herbs. Separate some of the top skin of the birds. Push small amounts of butter mixture under the skin of the breasts, then tuck a few thin slices of garlic under the skin of each breast. Carefully slide one small whole basil leaf under the skin of each breast.

Pat any remaining butter over the outside of the hens and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Roast for 1 hour, or until the hens are nicely browned and juices run clear.
Serves 4 to 6.


3 Comments on “Garlic and Herb Cornish Hens”

  1. joelen says:

    Looks delicious Karen! Louis asked me the other day while we were at the store when I’ll be making cornish hens… your recipe has got me thinking about preparing it soon!

  2. Shawna says:

    I have never made these, but it does look very impressive!!! I’m adding it to my “must try” list!

  3. bensbaby116 says:

    I love making cornish hens! I’ve never made one with this type of herb combo though. Looks great!

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