Cornish Game Hens

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Cornish Game Hens have all the fun of a formal Thanksgiving turkey condensed into an easy dinner-sized bird. This meal is great for a special event, holiday gathering, or even just changing up the typical dinner time routine a bit.

Throw in some veggies on the side and you’ll have a crowd pleaser on your hands for sure! (We enjoyed these hens with our Sweet Potato, Bacon, Brussels Sprout Hash — a combo we highly recommend
Cornish Game Hens

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Cornish Game Hens are a cross between a Cornish game chicken and a White Plymouth Rock Hen. They were developed in Connecticut in the mid-1950s, and this succulent little bird is just the right size to feed one person. It adds a unique fun factor to the meal when each person gets their own hen!

A big part of baking any bird are the juices it cooks in. Recently, we were strolling through a pop-up farmer’s market when some flavored olive oils caught our attention. They had so many great sounding options to choose from – garden herb, lemon, “rattlesnake” (this is Texas, after all).

We left the market that day with a bottle of rosemary olive oil from the Texas Olive Ranch and thought it would add some fun pizazz to the Cornish game hens we knew we’d be baking later that night. And were we ever right!

Brushing the birds with the olive oil every 10 minutes or so during the baking process infused the skin and outer layers of meat with a delicious rosemary flavor. We’d never had anything like it and definitely recommend you give it a try for yourselves!

If you don’t have any infused olive oil on hand, that’s fine, too. You may just want to sprinkle your favorite herb on the hens while they bake in normal olive oil.

Cornish Game Hens

Cornish Game Hens Cornish Game Hens | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Whole30

Brining the hens may sound like a pain, but it’s absolutely worth it. Just take about 20 minutes the day before you want to eat the hens to get them prepped. When you’re biting into the juicy meat, you won’t regret it.

Pro Tip: Most grocery stores carry individually wrapped Cornish game hens, and some even assemble them together into two-packs. Keep an eye out for when they go on sale and grab yourself a few. They don’t take up too much space and store great in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them up!

Are you doing Whole 30 right now? Check out the rest of our Whole 30 recipes!

 

 

Print Recipe
Cornish Game Hens
With just five ingredients and a little patience, you can enjoy these delicious Cornish Game Hens. They's very easy and well worth the wait! They're also gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole 30 compliant. Please note: All the ingredients below are easy to find gluten- and dairy-free, but not all brands are safe. So be sure to always check the ingredients.
Cornish Game Hens | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Whole30
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Brine
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Brine
Cornish Game Hens | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Whole30
Instructions
  1. Pour warm water into a large, non-metal cooking pot.
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, and minced garlic until the salt dissolves.
  3. Put the pot in the fridge until the water cools off (about 15 minutes). In the meantime, prepare the hens, removing the giblets if needed.
  4. Put the hens in the brine, then refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Place the hens in a baking dish and drizzle olive oil over them. Put the dish in the oven.
  7. Bake for one hour, basting with olive oil every 10 minutes.
  8. After an hour, turn the oven temperature to 400 for an additional 10 minutes for browning (or until juices run clear).
  9. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving for juices to settle.

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