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Rock Cornish Game Hens

Rock Cornish game hens are easy to prepare, especially if you're new to cooking whole poultry. Plus, the cooked hens make the most lovely presentation when you bring them to the dinner table. They are perfect for any special occasion entertaining!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Rock Cornish Game Hens
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mary's Nest


  • Baking sheet or roasting pan
  • Flat roasting rack or cooling rack
  • Small sauce pan
  • Silicone pastry brush or standard pastry brush


Rock Cornish Hens

  • 4 Rock Cornish game hens
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted I used unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, decrease the salt in this recipe and use only 2 teaspoons.
  • 4 cups Cooked wild rice mix, optional The rice should be undercooked so that it still has a "bite" to it.

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 12 ounce jar Red raspberry jelly or jam If you have an 8-ounce or a 16-ounce jar of jelly or jam, that will work fine as well. If the jam has seeds, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. (See video.)


Rock Cornish Hens

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • If available, place a rack on the baking sheet or roasting pan.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the rack with a bit of the melted butter.
  • Mix together the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Unwrap the hens, pat dry, and place them on a platter.
  • One at a time, rub a small amount of the salt mixture into the cavity of each hen. (Use only half of the total mixture and reserve the remaining half.)
  • If you want at this point, you can stuff each hen with one cup of the wild rice mixture. (See video.) See the Recipe Notes below for additional information on the amount of wild rice mixture to cook to stuff four hens.
  • Place each hen on the rack on the baking sheet or roasting pan. (Alternatively, if you are not using a rack, place hens directly on the foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet or roasting pan.)
  • Wash hands well in warm soapy water before proceeding with the remainder of the recipe instructions.
  • Brush each hen with butter using a pastry brush or a spoon.
  • Sprinkle the tops of each hen with the remaining salt mixture.
  • Place hens into preheated oven and roast for one hour or until the internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 180°F. Because hens vary in size, the cooking time could extend an additional 15 minutes for a total of one hour and 15 minutes.

Raspberry Sauce

  • When the hens have almost finished cooking, remove the raspberry jelly or jam from its container and place the jelly or jam into a small saucepan. Warm the saucepan slowly over low heat until it has a liquid consistency. Set aside and keep warm.
  • If using a jam with seeds, warm the jam and then run the jam through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Return the strained seedless jam to the saucepan and rewarm. Set aside and keep warm.
  • When hens have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and place the baking sheet or roasting pan on a heatproof surface.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush each hen with the raspberry sauce until the hens are completely covered. (See video.)
  • Return the hens to the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil for one minute or less until raspberry sauce begins to bubble. Watch closely to avoid burning the raspberry sauce.
  • Remove the hens from the oven and transfer them to a serving platter or individual serving plates and serve immediately.
  • In addition to the wild rice, you can also add a serving of green beans almondine to this meal. (See the Recipe Notes below for additional information.)
  • Wrapped well, you can store any leftover hens in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to one month.
  • To reheat the hens, allow the frozen hens to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can warm the refrigerated hens on a lined baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can also reheat the hens on a small lined baking sheet in a large toaster oven set to 350°F for 10-15 minutes.



For my wild rice blend, I made 2 cups of uncooked Lundgren's Wild Blend, which made 4 cups of cooked rice. I stuffed each hen with 1 cup of rice.
For the green beans almondine, place one pound of washed, stems removed, French green beans (haricot verts) in a saucepan with a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 4 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Toss the green beans with the nuts and butter until the beans are tender yet still bright green, approximately 5 minutes.
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-rock-cornish-game-hens/
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