cornish game hens

Sweet and Savory Cornish Game Hens

I’ve liked Cornish game hens since before I knew what one was. My mom has this crazy story of me from when I was about 2 or so. We were grocery shopping. She had a cart full of food (3 kids, 2 adults, and I think my mom was pregnant with my brother). We went and checked out. It wasn’t until she got home and unpacked the groceries that she saw these two little Cornish game hens in one of the bags. She didn’t pick them up… Yep, that’s right. Little ol’ me managed to snag a couple while she wasn’t looking and dropped them in the cart, and she didn’t even realize she’d put them on the belt for scanning! That is a stressed out and distracted mama, y’all!

This Cornish game hen recipe sounds outstanding! The game hens are stuffed with a cranberries and apples. What a perfect meal for two! 

Cornish game hens are a lot of fun to cook. I made a couple a few years back, and they were a total hit! I actually just made them one random weeknight, but I’ve always associated Cornish game hens with special, romantic nights. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they’re so little and individually portioned! This recipe looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try the stuffing!

Thanks to Gina at Running to the Kitchen for this FANTASTIC recipe!


  • 2 – 1½ pound cornish hens
  • 1 small apple, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ pounds small red potatoes
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rinse cornish hens and pat dry. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper on the outside and inside the cavities.
  3. Mix the apples, cranberries, rosemary, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small bowl.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the cavities of the cornish hens.
  5. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and place in a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet or appropriate sized baking dish.
  6. Scatter the potatoes around the cornish hens in the skillet.
  7. Drizzle both hens and potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  8. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot on top of the chicken as well as the potatoes.
  9. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for about 1 hour until the skin has turned golden brown and crispy, the potatoes start to shrivel and the internal temperature of the chicken is about 180 degrees.
  10. Remove from the oven, let rest a few minutes before carving. Serve with accumulated juices from the bottom of the skillet.


Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at: Running to the Kitchen.

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