Rock Cornish Game Hen with Rosemary

Serve with Schramsberg Brut Rose
Serves 6


  • 6  18 – 22 oz. Rock Cornish Game Hens (1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2 lbs. ea)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic gloves, peeled & minced
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1⁄4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 12 1” sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 1⁄2 t. dried
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • watercress for garnish


  • In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • With large sharp knife or poultry shears, remove backbone form each hen by cutting down either side of the bone.
  • Halve the hens and place in a large nonreactive bowl. Pour the marinade over the birds and turn to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove the hens from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Remove hens from the marinade and pat dry. Arrange skin-side-up in a single layer in 1 or 2 roasting pans.
  • Brush the hens with some of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, brushing with more of the butter, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced.
  • Transfer the hens to a platter and garnish with watercress. Top each hen half with a sprig of rosemary.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


An original recipe by Jamie Davies, as featured in Food & Wine

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