Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary


(Adapted from a Bon Appétit recipe at

Serves 4

2 1½ pound Cornish game hens

1 small lemon (called “baby lemons” in my stores), quartered

2 large fresh rosemary sprigs

3 tablespoons olive oil

29 cloves garlic, peeled (about 1½ heads of garlic)

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup chicken broth (Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base is handy for a small amount of broth)

Preheat the oven to 450˚.

Rinse the game hens and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt in the cavities; put half of the lemon in each along with a sprig of rosemary.  Put 2 cloves of garlic in each hen. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to rub all over the game hens. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Salt and pepper the outside of the game hens.

Put the game hens in a roasting pan and surround with the garlic. (I used my 12-inch cast iron skillet which worked perfectly!)

Roast the game hens for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚. Pour the wine, chicken broth and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the hens. Roast for an additional 25 minutes, basting with the sauce a couple of times during this time.

Remove hens to a cutting board or platter and cover with foil.

If you’ve used a roasting pan, pour the juices and garlic into a saucepan. If you’ve used a cast iron skillet, you can continue with the sauce right in the pan.

Boil the juices until they reduce a bit and become a nice sauce. This will take just a few minutes.

Cut the hens in half lengthwise and serve with the sauce and garlic.