Cornish game hens with garlic and rosemary

After a long angst-ridden week of testing and writing, nothing makes all one’s cares go away and clears the mind better than a delicious, home-cooked meal. A good deal on a pair of Cornish game hens created the perfect opportunity for a bit of relaxation. And a relatively simple recipe made for a relaxing time in the kitchen as well.


adapted from
Serves 2

2 Cornish game hens
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 slices of lemon
12 garlic cloves
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cornstarch
dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 F. Rub hens with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place 1 slice of lemon into the cavity of each hen, stuff with 2 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary, then place another slice of lemon into the cavity. Place hens in a large, heavy roasting pan and arrange garlic cloves around them. Pour in white wine and 1/3 cup of chicken broth. Roast for 25 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Pour remaining chicken broth over hens. Continue roasting for another 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes. Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic to a saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency. Add in flour and cornstarch to thicken the sauce, and stir in a dash of Worcestershire.


Heavenly, I believe, was the word I first used to describe this dish. The hens were juicy and moist and full of flavour–you definitely tasted the rosemary and lemon. The hens were browned nicely, without any fuss as other fowl can be sometimes. The gravy was similarly rich and flavourful. We paired it with a mushroom risotto and green beans, and everything came together wonderfully. A truly successful meal, and our goal of using it to dissipate our anxieties was definitely achieved, for a delightfully work-free food coma resulted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *