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Cornish Hens with Lemon and Herbs

Cornish hens are roasted with herbs and lemon.

  • prep: 10 mins
    total time: 45 mins
  • servings: 4
Photography: John Kernick


  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1 3/4 pounds each), room temperature, rinsed well and patted dry
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme (about 1/2 ounce), plus more for garnish
  • 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place hens in a roasting pan, breast sides up. Place 2 thyme sprigs and 1 lemon half in cavity of each hen. Loosen skin from breast, and place remaining thyme and the parsley underneath. Squeeze remaining lemon halves over hens. Rub butter all over hens. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  2. Step 2

    Roast hens, rotating pan halfway through, until skin turns golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve with lemon wedges.

Martha Stewart Living, May Spring 2006

Reviews (2)

  • 3 Mar, 2013

    Rose mary cornish hen

  • 1 May, 2008

    This was really easy and came out very flavorful.