Take out Tuesday, Orange Cornish hens with Rosemary Salt

In December I made some Rosemary Salt for gift giving.  This stuff is amazing! It smells DIVINE! Sprinkle it on anything that suits your fancy, it is especially good on a homemade flatbread, lamb chops, vegetables, well anything really!  Tonight is all about sprinkling it on roasted chicken.


Take out Tuesday became a menu tradition around here last spring when my daughter in law was on bed rest for a difficult pregnancy and I cooked a meal for them every Tuesday.  They don’t need my help as much anymore but I still like to dedicate Tuesdays to making a meal that would be appropriate to take to a friend or neighbor, or a meal that is just as easy as take-out, but of course, MUCH HEALTHIER & BETTER!


Do you ever cook Cornish Hens? Long time favorite around this casa, so easy, so good and economical too.  One is the perfect serving size for each person and they make a beautiful presentation too.  Hungry Husband usually grills these but since the weather turned rainy and cold, I put them in the oven.


My mom always used Pepperidge Farm stuffing for Thanksgiving, the one in the blue bag, which still looks the same as it did many years ago. {DON’T ask} She would add chopped onion, celery, and pecan halves.  I amped things up a little with fresh orange slices, orange juice and Rosemary Salt.


I made the stuffing according to package directions, using chicken broth for the liquid, real butter, and adding the celery, onion and pecans.  You can saute the vegetables first, but they will cook through in the birds.


After removing the insides of the hen {there is usually a package inside with some stuff in it you don’t want to know about} rinse the hens inside and out and pat dry.  Stuff the hens with the prepared stuffing and put remaining dressing {if you have extra} in a covered casserole to bake along with the hens or save for another meal.  Some experts say NEVER cook a bird with stuffing, but we do it all the time, taking the precautions of NEVER stuffing the bird until right before cooking, and ALWAYS removing all the stuffing promptly from cooked bird.


Next I drizzled the hens with Olive oil and sprinkled them generously with Rosemary salt


and covered them with fresh orange slices


I added a little orange juice to the pan, about 1/2 cup, for added moisture and to baste the hens throughout the baking process


I removed the oranges after 1 hour so the hens could brown


And an easy elegant meal was ready for dining or sharing!

Here’s the recipe:

CORNISH HENS with Orange and Rosemary Salt

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 Cornish hen per person
  • stuffing of choice {if desired}
  • fresh orange slices 5 or 6 per hen
  • orange juice
  • rosemary salt*


  • Wash hens thoroughly inside and out and pat dry.
  • Stuff hens if desired.
  • Place in a foil lined baking dish, and add orange juice to the bottom of pan to the depth of 1/4 inch. This will help keep the birds moist.
  • Drizzle hens with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary salt and pepper. You can also use Kosher salt and fresh rosemary. Top hens with orange slices.
  • Bake at 400 for about 1 1/4 hours or until hens are cooked through, basting every 20 minutes or so. Remove orange slices about half way through cooking time so hens can brown.


*fresh rosemary and Kosher salt
Keyword cornish hens, Cornish hens with Orange and Rosemary, orange chicken, Rosemary salt

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4 Responses to “Take out Tuesday, Orange Cornish hens with Rosemary Salt”
  1. This looks like such a lovely and delicious meal! Cornish hens are a great choice because each person gets their own. This flavors in here look great!

  2. lulu says:

    Cornish hens, I haven’t cooked them in ages and I’m not even sure why as we like them. You have inspired me with your flavor filled recipe. BTW, love the rosemary salt.

  3. Mary says:

    I can smell the delicious aroma from your hens and the oranges from here! You’ve inspired me to cook some this week! I made basil salt with the last of the basil back in September, I need to make your rosemary version!

  4. Tina says:

    Oh My! That looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Have a great week.

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