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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Cook Cornish Game Hens?

I got two Cornish Game Hens for better than free last week at the grocery store. They were on sale BOGO, so 2 for $3.69. I had two $1 coupons that both doubled, taking $4 off. Good deal, right? Only if I use them.

I don't like chicken with bones. I am a boneless, skinless chicken breast sorta gal. I bought a cooked rotisserie chicken once because it was a great deal-- it tasted good and we got a decent amount of meat off of it, but it was so time consuming for me to pick through it all (and it was messy). I decided rotisserie chickens probably weren't my kind of thing (unless they were better than free, then I'd probably give it another shot!)

So I have these two cute little Cornish Game Hens sitting in my freezer. How long do they need to thaw? How do I cook them? How much meat do they have on them? Will I need to cook both at once to feed my family? I need your help!


Kim said...

Our family loves cornish game hens. We have a few recipes that we enjoy, but right now our favorite is "Bacon Wrapped Cornish Game Hens" from
2 cornish hens, thawed
6 slices of bacon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
Mix dry spices. Rub spices all over birds, inside and out (I only do outside). Wrap bacon around hens. Place in crock pot, cover and cook LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours.
We serve this with rice and a veggie. It's quick, easy and tasty.
I believe there are directions to thaw right on the hen package, but we place ours in a bowl of cool water for about 2-3 hours to thaw.

The Young Family said...


This is what we've always done (with thanks going to my mom for telling me how!).

1) Remove anything that might be in the cavity still (slightly icky)

2) Sprinkle salt (sea, kosher, table...whatever you prefer) and pepper into the cavity, then put an entire lemon in (don't cut it or anything, it will infuse the chicken while baking without being overly lemon-y).

3) Grab a butter knife and generously butter the skin (I pretty much only do the top, sides, and drumsticks, I don't worry about the underside). This will give your chicken a nice golden brown crunchy skin.

4) Salt and pepper skin, and you can sprinkle any herbs you might like on there as well, such as rosemary or basil.

5) Put in oven at 350 for 20 minutes PER POUND of chicken. If juices run clear when you cut into the breast, then it's done!

6) I routinely mangle the poor bird when I'm trying to cut the meat off, so don't worry too much about presentation! It's very good though!

Our family is myself, my husband, a two year old, and a 10 month old, so it's more or less like just feeding two people. If I put in a 5 pound chicken, it will feed us for about 3 meals (that night, then chicken fajitas, BBQ chicken sandwiches, on the next two nights). Hopefully that gives you some idea of how much meat one of you guys will give you!

Fat Girl Blogging said...

Hey Jessica. I would say yes, you might need to cook both to feed your entire family, but you'll probably have left overs. Personally, I would boil them. Then the meat will fall off the bone and you can make chicken enchiladas or tacos or freeze it for later. That's what I would do. I have no idea how long to cook them. I just cook it until the meat falls off. Great deal by the way!!

MiMi LA Style said...

Hi Jessica,
I am Amber's Aunt in Louisiana. My husband and I love cornish hens. He puts them on the smoker and we have never had a complaint about them yet.

I like to cook them in the oven with Butter/Lemon juice/Worchestershire/Tony's Seasoning SAUCE. They take about 45 minutes in the oven. If you look on the package, it will tell you the temperature needed to cook them. I use a meat thermometer to check and make sure they are done, the same as for chicken, 170 degrees.
There is not a lot of meat, we are not big meat eaters so 1/4 of the hen is plenty for us. so you will probably need both to feed your family.
I love your blog and have gotten some great ideas and coupons from it. Thanks.

Jennie said...

I always default to I did a search by ingredient for you:

You definitely want to cook both for your family (they're much smaller than chickens).

Amy said...

I am not sure about cornish game hens, but I have cooked turkeys and whole chickens in the crockpot. Season with Larry's salt, some chicken boullion cubes and water. You could cook it on low most of the day. The best part is the meat almost falls off the bones. With a regular chicken I can use the meat that first night to have with potatoes and a veggie, then there is usually enough to make two casseroles. THis is for a family of 5. I think cornish game hens are just smaller, so you should have enough in one bird to feed your family dinner. I also like the website for recipe ideas, you can search by indgredients to find something that will fit what you have on hand perfectly.

Anonymous said...

325 for about 45 minutes to hour – 30 minutes covered with tin foil last 30 without – inside salt/pepper/thyme – brush outside with butter and a little thyme. for the cornish game hens. i would say 2 would feed a dinner and that is about all.

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Thanks for all your help, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Me my husband & kids love Cornish game hens but have never done it n the crock pot always made them n the oven but wld like 2 use our slow cooker never been a cook on big meals but want 2 learn i have 6 kids & a wonderfull husband ;-) that love big meals & new ne new ideas 4 me would b greatly appreciated!!! I always cook 2 of the hens & could probly use 3 or 4..really!!!

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