Roast Cornish Hens | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

There's lots to love about a Sunday roast: the way the house fills up the rich aromas wafting out of the kitchen, the flexibility with ingredients, the long unattended cook time that gives you the space to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner without keeping an eye on the stove. This recipe features a couple of frozen Cornish hens we picked up at our local super - a bit more interesting than the traditional hunk of beef or a big roast chicken, just as easy to cook, and dare we say it, all the more delicious.

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Time: About 2 hours
  • Storage Notes: Best if enjoyed immediately, will keep for 2 days in the fridge
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add washed and halved fingerling potatoes. Boil for around 15 minutes, strain, and allow to cool.
  • Peel carrots and parsnips, the cut and quarter into 1/2" pieces. Rinse and cut celery to the same size.
  • Combine carrots, celery, garlic cloves, and parsnips in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and add all of the Granulated Garlic, Taste of Bordeaux, and Taste of Provence seasonings, and mix well to combine. Reserve.
  • In another bowl, combine potato halves with Smoked Prime Cut seasoning and another drizzle of olive oil, again mixing well to combine. Reserve.
  • Rinse and pat dry Cornish hens, before drizzling with olive oil, inside and out, and then coating first with French Onion seasoning then Hickory Smoked Pork seasoning, rubbing in well. Tuck wings and truss legs.
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • In a large casserole dish, arrange Cornish hens in a line in the middle, breast side up.
  • Surround with vegetable medley and parboiled potatoes, and ring with rosemary. Pour in chicken stock, stopping when it reaches 1/3rd of the way up the birds.
  • Pop in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
  • Crank heat up to 500F, and cook for a further 10 to both crisp up the skin and evaporate more of the broth.
  • Remove from oven and tent loosely with foil for 8 minutes.
  • Slice birds in half lengthwise, and serve with a heaping pile of roast veggies and potatoes, pouring sauce over both the hen and veggies, and garnishing with a sprig of roasted rosemary.
  • Serve, and devour.