Looking for an alternative to Turkey this Thanksgiving? Try our Cornish Hens recipe, well-seasoned and easy to make. Plus, it’s less hassle than making a huge turkey and a ton of leftovers. 

The Perfect Cornish Hens

The Perfect Cornish Hens Recipe

Like a lot of folks, I used to be intimidated by the thought of preparing Cornish Hens. Not anymore. Now I love them and here is why. First, it is all about the perfect portion. Cornish hens for me translate into less waste. Who wants to cook a whole chicken or gigantic turkey then struggle to figure out what to do with all of the leftovers? Second. Cornish Hens are not the hoity-toity fancy-pants dish you think it is. Mainly because pound for pound they are often a more economical purchase than other poultry fares. And finally, they are delicious. The following recipe guarantees a moist and well-seasoned outcome. Enjoy.

Ingredients need for Cornish Hens

  • 4-6 Cornish Hens
  • 2 Meyer Lemons
  • 1/2 Cup of Melted Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter
  • 2 Bunches of fresh Sage
  • 6-8 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 6-8 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt
  • 1 Cup of White Wine

easy cornish hens recipe

Instructions for the best Cornish Hens Recipe

This is a super simple recipe that anyone can follow. But the keys to this Cornish Hen recipe are the fresh herbs, butter, and the white wine.

  1. Once the Cornish Hens are thawed and rinsed thoroughly pat them dry with paper towel.
  2. Place Cornish Hens is a large roasting pan bottom down. Divide fresh herms and stuff hen cavities.
  3. Then add two pats of butter to each cavity. Place any leftover herbs beneath hens.
  4. Slice Meyer lemons in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl. There should be enough lemon juice so that each hen cavity gets a tablespoon each.
  5. Melt remaining butter and brush over each hen until butter is used up.
  6. Mix Black Pepper, Lemon Pepper and Kosher salt in a small bowl and sprinkle over hens evenly until seasoning is all gone.
  7. Pour 1 cup of white wine into bottom of the pan but do not pour wine over hens (you’ll rinse off the seasoning if you do).
  8. Make sure hens have plenty of space between them. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 until an instant-read thermometer reads inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.
  10. When finished baking, remove the pan from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. 
  11. Serve.
 
alternative turkey recipe cornish hen recipe
 
This is a great alternative recipe for your regular Turkey at Thanksgiving. Or just have it for Sunday dinner. Regardless of when you plan to have it, this recipe doesn’t get much easier than this… enjoy!
Be sure to try our easy cornbread dressing for a great Thanksgiving pairing. 
the perfect thanksgiving recipe for cornish hens
 
 
The Perfect Cornish Hens Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 4-6 Cornish Hens
  • 2 Meyer Lemons
  • ½ Cup of Melted Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter
  • 2 Bunches of fresh Sage
  • 6-8 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 6-8 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt
  • 1 Cup of White Wine
Instructions
  1. Once the Cornish Hens are thawed and rinsed thoroughly pat them dry with paper towel.
  2. Place Cornish Hens is a large roasting pan bottom down. Divide fresh herms and stuff hen cavities.
  3. Then add two parts of butter to each cavity. Place any leftover herbs beneath hens.
  4. Slice Meyer lemons in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl. There should be enough lemon juice so that each hen cavity gets a tablespoon each.
  5. Melt remaining butter and brush over each hen until butter is used up.
  6. Mix Black Pepper, Lemon Pepper and Kosher salt in a small bowl and sprinkle over hens evenly until seasoning is all gone.
  7. Pour 1 cup of white wine into bottom of the pan but do not pour wine over hens (you'll rinse off the seasoning if you do).
  8. Make sure hens have plenty of space between them. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 until an instant-read thermometer reads inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.
  10. When finished baking, remove the pan from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.
  11. Serve.