Nutrient-Rich Cornish Game Hen Recipe: A Holiday Classic

Updated: December 4, 2023

Cornish game hen

Mouth-Watering Stuffed Cornish Game Hen

Are you looking for something a little different to wow your dinner guests?

Good news: you’ve found it. 

This recipe will fill your home with the aroma of fresh herbs, vegetables, and, of course, the guest of honor – cornish game hen. 

Rich in protein, potassium, and B vitamins, cornish hen stands apart from your traditional chicken dishes with a nutrient profile that’s a cut above. These little guys are also a source of iron and vitamin A – all nutrients that can contribute to healthy bones[1].

And the best part? You don’t have to worry about making a side dish for this recipe; these cornish hens are stuffed with rice and veggies to perfectly round out your meal and leave everyone feeling satisfied.

Perfect for the holidays, special occasions, or any time you feel like treating yourself to a nutrient-rich home-cooked meal. So grab your oven mitts, and let’s get cooking. 

Cornish game hen

Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Gluten Free, Dairy Free
3.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 727 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Cornish hens (1.25-1.5 lb)
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil

Stuffing:

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 227 grams crimini mushrooms
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage chopped
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium pot, bring rice and broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes.
  • In a large sauté pan, combine avocado oil, mushrooms, onion, celery, carrot, thyme, sage and salt. Sauté until vegetables become soft.
  • Combine wild rice and vegetable mixture. Stuff ¼ of each mixture into each hen. If you have any stuffing leftover, you can place it on the pan with the hens.
  • In a small bowl, combine rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, salt and avocado oil.
  • Pat the hens dry with paper towel. Rub the herb and oil mixture over the birds.
  • Place the hens on the pan and tuck the wings under the birds. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the leg meat reaches 160°F with a thermometer.
  • Remove the birds from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes, during which time the bird continues to cook to reach 165°F.
  • Serve garnished with fresh herbs and your favorite sides or on its own.

Nutrition

Calories: 727kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 47gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 1466mgPotassium: 1077mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2812IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cornish Hens: Nutrient-Dense and Incredibly Satisfying

cornish game hens recipe

You know it’s a special occasion when cornish game hen is on the menu. They likely don’t make an appearance on your weekly grocery list, but when the occasion strikes, cornish hens will certainly make a lasting impression at the dinner table. 

In addition to their incredibly tender meat and delectable flavor, cornish hens provide a spectacular array of nutrients that support bone health and healthy aging. 

First, and unsurprisingly, they’re an excellent source of protein. Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids, which participate in the function and maintenance of every cell, tissue, and chemical reaction in your body – including bone cells[2][3].  
But protein is far from the only nutrient worthy of a call out here; cornish hens are also packed with vitamins and minerals. In fact, they’re particularly rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in calcium balance, which, as you likely know, is a bone mineral density superstar. Studies show that a higher dietary potassium intake can have a bone-protective effect, potentially reducing the risk for osteoporosis[4].

Takeaways

If you want to make a splash at the dinner table, treat your dinner guests to something special with this savory and satisfying cornish hen recipe. 

Cornish hens may be small, but they are mighty. These guys pack a nutrient-density punch consisting of protein, vitamins, and minerals that specifically target bone health and support healthy aging. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

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Article Sources

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171109/nutrients
  2. Wallace, T. C. (2019). Optimizing dietary protein for lifelong bone health: a paradox unraveled. Nutrition today, 54(3), 107-115..
  3. Lewis, T., & Stone, W. L. (2020). Biochemistry, proteins enzymes.
  4. Ha, J., Kim, S. A., Lim, K., & Shin, S. (2020). The association of potassium intake with bone mineral density and the prevalence of osteoporosis among older Korean adults. Nutrition research and practice, 14(1), 55-61.

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This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,