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Herb Roasted Cornish Hens and Pinot Noir

Janette Fuschi
Herb roasted Cornish hens with root vegetables might just be the perfect one pan, Thanksgiving dinner for two or a small group. Individual Cornish hens are crusted with fresh herbs, roasted on a bed of root vegetables and apple and served with a bottle of Pinot Noir.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main
Servings 2 servings


  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 orange cut into wedges
  • 2 ounces carrots peeled cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 ounces parsnip peeled cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound yams peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 sweet apple peeled and cut into wedges


  • reheat oven to 375°F.
  • Dry the skin of the Cornish hens.
  • Mix the melted butter and apple cider in a bowl.
  • Stir in the rosemary, sage, thyme, salt & pepper to the melted butter and mix well.
  • Brush the butter mix all over the hens, inside and out and under the skin, reserve some of the butter mix for the vegetables. Add a garlic clove and orange wedges to each of the hen cavities.
  • Tie the legs together.
  • Add the carrots, parsnips, yams and apple to a bowl. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter and mix well so they are all coated.
  • Spread an even layer of the vegetables in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or roasting dish.
  • Set the hens on top of the vegetables and add and garlic around the hens and vegetables. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour and a meat thermometer measures 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the leg.