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Garlic-Herb Cornish Hens

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


  • 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)


  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Brush hens with remaining oil.
  • 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.

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