Roasted Cornish Game Hen

What is a sister to do when she is supposed to prepare a lovely meal for a special guest that is gluten free, does not eat meat and dislikes seafood? Not the easiest assignment, but if she prays and uses a little ingenuity she always comes up with not only a solution, but often a very remarkable  one. Last week the sister doing Bethany guest cooking actually faced this challenge. What did she do? It was the first day of Autumn and she wanted the meal to reflect that.

She chose a plump little Cornish Hen for the star of the meal, and served it chock-full of healthy, wholesome selection of wild rice, dried fruits, and nuts. Roasted with fresh garden herbs, garlic and lemon, some butternut squash and fresh broccoli accompanied the plump little bird, and the result: great satisfaction all the way around.

PS: No need to reserve this meal for the gluten free and those who abstain from meat and fish!

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Roasted Cornish Game Hen
1-2servings, depending on the size of the hen
servings, depending on the size of the hen
1 hr10 mins



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Gather a small bunch fresh herbs of your choice, 1 peeled garlic clove, half a lemon and 2 tablespoons of butter. For this meal we used fresh Rosemary and Thyme from the garden.
  3. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and gently separate the skin from the top of the hen.
  4. Place a small bunch of the herbs and butter under the skin, and put the garlic clove, lemon half and another small bunch of herbs in the chicken. Lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the chicken for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Baste occasionally with chicken broth and white wine.
  6. Serve on a bed of wild long grain rice with cranberries, sunflower seeds and walnuts for a festive autumn meal!

3 thoughts on “Roasted Cornish Game Hen

  1. Cornish Game Hens Paradis ________________________________________
    Serves: 4

    This is not named for the little town down on US 90, but for Paradise– which is what the sauce is supposed to suggest. When In the early 1970s, Antoine’s had a dish called pigeonneaux sauce Paradis. Squab was out of vogue then, though, so shortly after that they moved the sauce onto chicken.


    • 4 Cornish game hens
    • 1 apple, cut into eighths
    • 1 orange, cut into eighths
    • – Frank’s Famous Creole Seasoning *

    Ingredients Sauce:

    • ¼ cup finely-chopped sweet onions
    • ½ stick butter
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 2 cups intense duck, turkey, or chicken stock
    • 1 cup tawny port
    • 1 Tablespoon pepper jelly (not too spicy!)
    • 20 red seedless grapes, cut in half
    • ½ teaspoon salt ________________________________________


    1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
    2. Stuff the cavities of the Cornish hens with the apple and orange sections.
    3. Season with Frank’s Famous Creole Seasoning and salt.
    4. Place on a roasting pan, breast side down, and put in the oven.
    5. Immediately lower the oven temperature to 350.
    6. Roast for 45 minutes, and then turn up the heat to 425 for a final five minutes.
    7. The internal temperature should be about 175 on a meat thermometer shoved into the thigh.
    8. While the birds are in the oven, make the sauce.
    9. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, sauté the onions, stirring often, until they become light brown uniformly.
    10. Add the butter and flour, and make a blond roux.
    11. Whisk in the tawny port.
    12. Bring it to a boil and hold it there, whisking often, until the liquid is reduced by half.
    13. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
    14. Dissolve the pepper jelly into the sauce, then strain.
    15. Return the sauce to a very light simmer, and add the grapes.
    16. Check seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.
    17. Place a whole roasted Cornish hen on each dinner plate, and serve the sauce around it
    Franks Famous Creole Seasoning

    Louisiana cooking always starts with a mixture of spices and herbs that almost every cook develops to suit his or her own tastes. The name Creole came from the Spanish word criollo, which was what they called all the residents of New Orleans of European heritage during the 1700s. Over the years it came to be associated with people of cultured backgrounds. Creole cooking combines Spanish, French, and African influences and is the more refined of the two Louisiana cooking styles. This rub works very well with chicken and fish. Sprinkle it on and allow it to marinate at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. This type of seasoning base is used in many New Orleans restaurants, from Emeril’s to Commander’s Palace to K-Paul’s. This is particularly good on grilled chicken or duck.
    Frank’s Famous Creole Seasoning is adapted from Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning which is available in your grocery.


    • 2 parts salt
    • 1½ parts paprika
    • 1 part cayenne pepper
    • 1 part white pepper
    • 1 part black pepper
    • 1 part granulated onion
    • 1 part granulated garlic
    • 1 part crushed dried basil leaves
    • ½ part crushed dried oregano leaves
    • ½ part crushed dried thyme leaves
    • ½ part crushed dried parsley leaves
    • ¼ part ground bay leaves
    This version of Creole seasoning contains salt — If you like to control salt content separately, omit the salt from the blend.


  2. Method: Frank’s Famous Creole Seasoning

    1. In a medium bowl or food processor combine salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, white pepper, ground black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, crushed basil, crushed oregano, crushed thyme, parsley and bay leaves.
    2. Mix thoroughly.
    3. Use like salt.
    4. When it’s salty enough, it’s seasoned to perfection.
    5. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.
    Note: The amounts in this recipe are given by volume. So a “part” can be a cup or a Tablespoon depending on how much seasoning you wish to make. Double or triple the recipe as you wish.

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