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Cornish Game Hens: A Thanksgiving Turkey Alternative



Cornish Game Hens: A Thanksgiving Turkey Alternative

Cornish game hens are a great Thanksgiving turkey alternative if you plan to have fewer guests, but still want an impressive presentation. This Cornish game hen recipe is easy and is a tasty Thanksgiving dinner recipe!

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 1 hr 20 min

  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and olive oil together in a bowl.
  3. Rinse the hens and pat dry.
  4. Place the hens in a roasting pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
  5. Rub the garlic-thyme mixture over the hens.
  6. Place a lemon slice in the cavity of each hen and tie the legs together with string.
  7. Roast the hens for 70 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 170 degrees F.
  8. Transfer the hens to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  9. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve 1 hen per person.


The hens are cooked through when the juices run clear when cut.

Learn more about and see more recipes from from our blog post Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

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Reviews More Reviews

Nov 29, 2010

Hi there -- good point! I would suggest using fruits and vegetables (a bed of lettuce, lemons flanking the dish, roasted apples on the platter) if you want a beautiful presentation. I would also suggest glazes for the meal itself (an apple cinnamon glaze is always a good option). If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to post them here!


Nov 25, 2010

The presentation of the meal is important. I selected this recipe site because it says "...but still want an impressive presentation" No mention of the presentation was given????


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