Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens

  • Recipe By
  • Published Mar 28th
  • Ready In5h 20m
  • Servings8
This recipe does just as well with a full chicken as it does with Cornish hens. The meat is tender and flavorful, and absolutely the best I've ever had! Don't leave the hens in the brine for too long, or the meat will be too salty.

Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens Ingredients

The following are the ingredients needed to make delicious Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens for 8 servings:

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into quarters
  • 1 juicy orange, cut into quarters
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, or to taste, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, or to taste, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens Cooking Instructions

  • Prep20m
  • Cook1h 50m
  • Ready In5h 20m

To cook Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens, you need about 20 minutes of preparation time. The time needed to cook this Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens is about 1 hour 50 minutes , and you can serve your Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens within 5 hours 20 minutes . The following are the steps to cook Heather’s Rosemary Citrus Cornish Hens easily:

  1. 1 Bring the vegetable broth, 4 1/2 cups of water, the allspice berries, black peppercorns, and kosher salt to a boil in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove the brine from the heat, and set aside to cool. When the brine is cool, place the Cornish hens into the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. 2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the game hens from the brine, and pat dry. Discard the brine.
  3. 3 Place the cut-up grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, rosemary, and thyme into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 2 minutes; with tongs, stuff the fruit and herbs into the cavities of the Cornish hens. Slather each hen with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the stuffed hens into a roasting dish, breast sides up.
  4. 4 Roast in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). For extra-crispy skin, turn the oven heat up to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Allow the hens to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  1. Nov 26th 2015

    I followed the directions as listed and it was just too salty.

  2. Nov 4th 2015

    I ended up over cooking my hens, so probably shouldn't complain, but I did not find this to be worth the effort in terms of taste. Maybe I just ruined it, Idk.

  3. Feb 15th 2014

    Great simple recipe. Made for Valentine's Day and I only had enough time to leave my hens in the brine for 1 12 hours. They cooked up nice and juicy.

  4. Dec 27th 2013

    I made this recipe for Christmas Dinner and my family all thought it was delicious! The meat was so juicy and flavorful! I can't wait to make it again for company!

  5. Nov 22nd 2012

    I made this today for Thanksgiving since we were only 3 for the holiday, and this was FABULOUS! The only difference was I used a whole chicken because the store marked up the cornish hens to ...

  6. Jan 8th 2011

    There was only one cornish hen left at Wholefoods so I decided to get a whole young chicken instead to make dinner for my girlfriend and myself as our post Christmas dinner. The chicken came ...

  7. Nov 24th 2010

    Since creating this recipe, I've made some changes to it and have begun to use it with turkey. For the brine, I boil 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (using it is a shortcut to making it yourse ...

  8. Nov 12th 2010

    This was out-of-this-world delicious! I was short on time, so I only brined my birds for about 1 1/2 hours (mine were small, so this was sufficient). My hens were done after 1 1/2 hours in ...

  9. Oct 5th 2010

    Delicious