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Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Garlic and Sage

This garlic and sage Cornish game hen is stuffed with delicious, homemade Anjou pear and baby bella mushroom stuffing. The best recipe for an elegantly rustic dinner party with friends!

You’ll be surprised just how incredibly simple they are to make! The hens take only a few minutes to prepare, and 45 minutes to roast.

Cooked garlic & sage Cornish game hens on a plate, garnished with a few sage leaves and baby's breath.

Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Garlic and Sage

Guests sometimes think that having a whole hen to themselves might be a little too much, but tell them not to worry. The hens are a little deceiving in size. Most of the meat is in the breast and just a little in the legs so they’re perfect for 1 person, even with a salad and stuffing.

A plate on top of a lace table cloth with sage, butter, garlic, salt & pepper besides 2 lemons.

A Few Tips!

1. Tie the legs together with baker’s string

You don’t have to do a full truss where you wrap the string around the thighs. Simply cut 1½ feet of baker’s string. Bring the legs together so they’re as close to the body as you can get them (this ensures the meat will be tender underneath), then wrap the string around one leg, then the other, then join them together with a bow.

A Cornish Game hen in a pan with its legs tied with baker's string.

2. Do not wash the hens

Don’t listen to your grandma. Raw poultry should never be washed, in general. It doesn’t clean away any bacteria, but it does spread it around the sink and counter tops when you wash them. Simply pat the hens dry with a paper towel before applying the butter, sage and garlic mixture. You want the skin as dry as possible so it gets nice and crispy.

3. Make the stuffing from scratch

If you’re making such a fancy little hen, why spoil it with Stove Top. Make a simple bread stuffing that is perfectly tailored to this recipe. I made this homemade bread stuffing with Anjou pear and mushroom specifically for this recipe. It’s perfectly complementary to the sage and garlic herbs of the hens. It’s moist, crispy and full of heart warming flavors.

A pyrex baking dish with stuffing on a table with a lace cloth underneath.

Where can I find Cornish game hen?

They’re a little tricky to come by in traditional grocery stores, but they can be easily found at either Whole Foods or specialty grocery stores. However, make sure to call ahead to be certain they have as many as you need in stock.

Since they’re rarely bought, your local store may not have as many as you need. The safest bet is to order them from a local butcher or find them on a delivery service like Fresh Direct.

How long does Cornish game hen take to cook?

If your oven is nicely preheated when they go in, they should only take about 45 minutes at 450 F (232 C). However, make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the thigh, breast and any other thick parts have reached 165 F (74 C).

What do I need for this recipe?

  • 4 quart roasting pan
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Food processor
  • Baker’s string
  • Meat thermometer

Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Garlic and Sage – Step by Step

Make your bread stuffing with Anjou pear and mushroom first, set aside and preheat oven to 450.

A step by step process, showing how to tie and stuff Cornish game hens.

1. Chop 5-7 leaves of fresh sage and 6 cloves of garlic into pieces small enough to mix evenly in a food processor. You don’t have to mince.

2. In a food processor, add 4 tbsp. of softened unsalted butter, 2 tbsp. olive oil, juice from half a lemon and the chopped garlic and sage. Process till creamy with small flecks of sage and garlic. Set aside.

3. Pat 5 Cornish game hens with paper towel, and place them in a 4 quart baking pan or pyrex. Cut about 1½ feet of baking string and tie their legs close to their body by wrapping each leg first, then securing them together with a bow.

4. Fill each cavity with stuffing, but don’t over-stuff. Leave most of the stuffing to serve as a side dish.

A step by step process showing how to marinate Cornish game hen with garlic & sage butter.

5. Lift the skin of each breast and spoon in some of the garlic-sage butter. Make sure it’s nicely distributed under the skin (It helps to use a spoon to separate it first).

6. Roll up your sleeves and give the hens a luxurious massage with the garlic-sage butter. Make sure to get every part of them, including between the legs and breast.

7. Sprinkle them with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, making sure to evenly distribute all over the hens. Bake for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer shows 165 F (74 C) in the thickest parts, like the thigh and breast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes under tin foil before serving.

A roasted Cornish game hen in a pan with 2 other hens in the background.

For More Cozy Dinner Inspiration:

And for even more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

Cooked garlic & sage Cornish game hens on a plate, garnished with a few sage leaves and baby's breath.
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4.6 from 5 votes

Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Garlic and Sage

This tender garlic and sage Cornish game hen is stuffed with delicious, homemade Anjou pear and baby bella mushroom stuffing. The best recipe for an elegantly rustic dinner party with friends!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
REsting Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: International
Keyword: cornish game hen
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 1108kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 Cornish game hens
  • 7 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves - large
  • 4 tbsp. butter - unsalted
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ lemon - juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cups homemade bread stuffing

Instructions

  • Make your bread stuffing with Anjou pear, baby bella mushroom and red onion first, set aside and preheat oven to 450.
  • Chop 5-7 leaves of fresh sage and 6 cloves of garlic into pieces small enough to mix evenly in a food processor. you don’t have to mince.
  • In a food processor, add 4 tbsp. of softened unsalted butter, 2 tbsp. olive oil, juice from half a lemon and the chopped garlic and sage. Process till creamy with small flecks of sage and garlic. Set aside.
  • Pat 5 Cornish game hens with paper towel, and place them in a 4 quart baking pan or pyrex. Cut about 1½ feet of baking string and tie their legs close to their body by wrapping each leg first, then securing them together with a bow.
  • Fill each cavity with stuffing, but don’t over-stuff. Leave most of the stuffing to serve as a side dish.
  • Lift the skin of the breast and spoon in some of the garlic-sage butter. Make sure it’s nicely distributed under the skin (It helps to use a spoon to separate it first).
  • Roll up your sleeves and give the hens a luxurious massage with the garlic-sage butter. Make sure to cover every part of them, including between the legs and breast.
  • Sprinkle them with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, making sure to evenly distribute all over the hens. Bake for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer shows 165 F (74 C) in the thickest parts, like the thigh and breast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes under tin foil before serving.

Notes

For this recipe, you'll need:
  • 4 quart roasting pan
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Food processor
  • Baker’s string
  • Meat thermometer

Nutrition

Serving: 1hen and stuffing | Calories: 1108kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 80g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 479mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 1145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4.5mg

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