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Baked Cornish Hen Dinner

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Baked Cornish hen is the perfect date night meal or holiday dinner that is simple to make that has all the flair and none of the fuss, thanks to this perfect sheet pan dinner. The seasoned cornish hens are flavorful and juicy and are cooked alongside carrots and potatoes making it a complete meal all on one tray. This is perfect for a simple holiday dinner for 2.

Baked Cornish Hen Dinner 

On my husband’s and my first Christmas, it was just the two of us. I felt overwhelmed by cooking a big Turkey dinner or ham dinner when it was just the two of us (This was before I knew about Instant Pot Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham), so we opted to make cornish hen instead. It was flavorful, juicy, delicious, and so easy! In fact, it was one of his favorite meals! Still to this day when we have a date night in, my husband still requests this delicious baked cornish hen dinner for 2! You will absolutely love everything about this meal and cook it every chance you can get. 

Baked Cornish Hen Dinner

How to Make Baked Cornish Hen

Baked Cornish Hen Dinne

For the Hens:

  • Preheat the oven to 450° and spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine the butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic.
  • Wash the birds and pat dry.  Remove anything from the inside of the birds.
wash cornish hens
  • Using twine, tie the legs together and twist the wings under the bird.
tie the legs with twine
  • . Brush the herbed butter over the bird, on all sides and on the inside of the bird.
brush the hens with butter

For the Vegetables:

  • Place the potatoes, carrots, and onions in the pan. Pour the melted butter over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables.
  • Lay the hens on the potatoes. 
;ay hens on top of vegetables
  • Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil.  Lower the oven temperature to 400°.  Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.  Thermometer inserted into the thigh should reach 180° F. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Baked Cornish Hen Dinner

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • You want to make sure that you season the hens really well. This works best if you pick them up and use your hands to rub the seasonings all over them. 
  • Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked completely. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. The internal temperature should reach 180°.
  • When it comes to the vegetables, you can use any vegetables you want.  You can use half sweet potato and half white potato.  Mash up both on separate sides.  Add butter and salt to the potatoes, top the sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  This is perfect for a simple holiday meal for 2.
  • You can make a simple gravy with the drippings as well.
Baked Cornish Hen Dinne

Storage 

You will want to store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

baked cornish hen dinner

Do you cover cornish hens when baking?

Once you have seasoned your cornish hen and added the vegetables you will want to cover it with aluminum foil. This helps keep in the moisture.

Baked Cornish Hen Dinne

Baked Cornish Hen Dinner

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Baked Cornish hen is the perfect date night meal or holiday dinner that is simple to make that has all the flair and none of the fuss, thanks to this perfect sheet pan dinner. The seasoned cornish hens are flavorful and juicy and are cooked alongside carrots and potatoes making it a complete meal all on one tray. This is perfect for a simple holiday dinner for 2.

Ingredients

  • For Hens:
  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1.5 pounds each), giblets removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 rosemary sprigs, 1 sprig minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • For the vegetables
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed or 1 pound small potatoes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges for serving

Instructions

    For the Hens:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° and spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic.
  3. Wash the birds and pat dry.  Remove anything from the inside of the birds.
  4. Using twine, tie the legs together and twist the wings under the bird. Brush the herbed butter over the bird, on all sides and on the inside of the bird.

For the Vegetables:

  1. Place the potatoes, carrots, and onions in the pan. Pour the melted butter over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables.
  3. Lay the hens on the potatoes. 
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil.  Lower the oven temperature to 400°.  Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.  Thermometer inserted into the thigh should reach 180° F. 
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 946Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 354mgSodium: 1118mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 46g

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