Garlic-Herb Cornish Hens Recipe

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I grow basil and mint in my garden and love stepping outside to pick what I need for this recipe. The herbs give the cornish hens a tasty upgrade here. —Barbara Engelhart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + marinating Bake: 40 min. + standing
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + marinating Bake: 40 min. + standing
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)


  1. In a small bowl, mix the first five ingredients; stir in 1 tablespoon oil. With fingers, carefully loosen skin from Cornish hen breasts; rub herb mixture under the skin, over the skin and inside cavities. Tuck wings under hens; tie drumsticks together. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Brush hens with remaining oil.
  3. Roast 40-50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°. Remove from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before splitting hens in half. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Garlic-Herb Cornish Hens in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014

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