Roasted Game Hens With Potatoes and Carrots

Roasted Game Hens with Potatoes and Carrots
Roasted Game Hens with Potatoes and Carrots. Diana Rattray
  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2
Ratings (10)

Although Cornish game hens may seem like a fancy meal, it is very easy to prepare. Cornish hens (also known as poussin or rock Cornish hen) are actually just a hybrid chicken—a broiler chicken and not a game bird. The name is also misleading in that it can be male or female, so isn't really a hen at all.

This recipe for Cornish game hens is easily doubled for a family. Thyme and chives are called for in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite combination of fresh or dried herbs. You can roast the hens in a large heavy skillet or roasting pan.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or about 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives or parsley
  • 1 medium onion (quartered and sliced)
  • 1 pound small red or gold potatoes (scrubbed and cut in 1- to 2-inch chunks)
  • 3 medium carrots (sliced crosswise then lengthwise into strips about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • Optional: 1 lemon (cut up)
  • Optional: 1 small onion (cut into chunks)
  • Optional: Sprigs of fresh herbs

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 375 F. 
  2. Melt butter with olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over low heat. Add the minced garlic and herbs. Remove about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside.
  3. Add the onion slices, potatoes, and carrots to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the vegetables with the butter, oil, and herbs; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. 
  4. Sprinkle the cavities of the game hens with salt and pepper. 
  1. Rub the reserved herb mixture all over the hens. If desired, put pieces of lemon and onion and some herb sprigs in the cavities.
  2. If the skillet is not oven safe, move the vegetable mixture to a baking dish or pan. 
  3. Arrange the hens on the vegetables and place in the oven. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the hens register at least 165 F in the meatiest part of the thigh, not touching bone. 
  4. If the hens are browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil near the end of the cooking time. If they don't brown enough, turn the broiler on for 2 to 3 minutes before you take them out of the oven.