Crockpot Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Roasted cornish hens on white platter
Susie Cushner/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 5 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (5)

Use the crockpot to make no-fuss stuffed Cornish game hens (also known as Rock Cornish game hens because they are a hybrid of Cornish and White Rock chickens). They look just like miniature chickens and have the same flavor, but they are petite, weighing only from 1 to 2 pounds (standardized grocery-store varieties are about 1 1/4 pounds). The bone-to-meat ratio is high, which means you should plan to serve 1 whole game hen per person. 

Use a stuffing mix for expediency or make your own (I've cut my Basic Bread Stuffing Recipe in half and given the proportions below). Finish this dish with an easy orange-honey glaze for a company-worthy dish.

What You'll Need

  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces stuffing mix (or make homemade stuffing, see below)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large orange (cut up)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Generous pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 large loaf (3/4 pound) stale white bread

How to Make It

To Prepare the Game Hens

  1. Rinse 4  Cornish game hens.
  2. Sprinkle inside of the cavity and outside with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions or make homemade stuffing.
  4. Proceed to step 3, below.

To Make Basic Homemade Stuffing

  1. Sauté 1/2 cup diced celery and 1/2 cup chopped onions in 2 tablespoons butter until softened.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of black pepper. 
  1. Let cool to room temperature. 
  2. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Add to the cooled chicken broth mixture and gently toss to combine.
  4. Proceed with the recipe. 

To Fill the Game Hens

  1. Spoon packaged stuffing or homemade stuffing into hens and truss.
  2. Place neck ends down in the crockpot so the legs are sticking up.

To Make the Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup chicken stock, 1 large cut-up orange, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon orange zest.
  2. Baste game hens with some of the sauce and place them neck-end down in the crockpot so the legs are sticking up.
  3. Pour remainder of sauce over the game hens in the pot.

To Cook the Game Hens

  1. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.
  2. Baste hens once or twice during cooking.
  3. Remove hens from crockpot and remove the trussing strings.
  4. Spoon pan sauce over hens at the serving time.

Recipe Source: Hilltop Restaurant & Herb Farm, Romayor, Texas. Reprinted with permission.