Take-out Tuesday, Cornish Hens with Fresh Oranges and Rosemary Salt

My family loves Cornish hens, they are so easy to make,

and everyone gets their own whole little chicken to enjoy

You can roast them on the oven or cook them outside on your grill

One of my favorite ways to prepare them is

topped with fresh orange slices and Rosemary Salt

Rosemary Salt is incredibly easy to make,

fresh rosemary combined with Kosher salt and coarse sea salt

But you can also just use fresh rosemary and any coarse sea salt you have


You can stuff them with your favorite stuffing like

Mom’s Stuffing

or you can cook them without stuffing


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

She would add chopped onion, celery, and pecan halves


I make 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 if you want to save a step


Check the insides of the hens

{some brands have a giblet package inside that you will want to remove}

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. 

Remember for safety, always stuff the birds right before cooking

and remove all the stuffing after baking to prevent contamination


Next drizzle the hens with olive oil

and sprinkle them generously with Rosemary salt

and cover them with fresh orange slices


Add a little orange juice to the pan, about 1/2 cup,

for added moisture and to baste the hens throughout the baking process


Remove the oranges after 45-60 minutes*

so the hens can brown during the last few minutes

*Cooking time will depend on the size of the birds and

your oven or grill,

use a meat thermometer to check for doneness


Save oranges to garnish the hens when serving

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

Rosemary Salt is perfect for gift giving

This stuff is amazing and It smells DIVINE!

Sprinkle it on anything that suits your fancy,

it is especially good on a homemade breads and flatbread,

lamb chops, chicken, vegetables


Here is another way to cook Cornish Hens on the grill,

loaded on a spit and cooked rotisserie style

with a delicious Asian style sauce

Southern Style Cornish Hens


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

 Sundays on Silverado  Love Your Creativity  Over the Moon

Between Naps on the Porch,  Celebrate Your Story,

All About Home/ Common Ground Follow the Yellow Brick Home

 Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl Turn About Tuesday 

 Full Plate Thursday  Centerpiece Wednesday  Creatively Crafty

Thursday Favorite Things    Friday with Friends

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26 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Cornish Hens with Fresh Oranges and Rosemary Salt”
  1. BERNADETTE says:

    Haven’t made Cornish hens in forever. Thanks for the reminder and delicious recipe. One question, does the salt preserve the rosemary. No problem with spoilage ?

    • I really don’t know the shelf life of this rosemary salt as I use it up pretty quickly when I make it, but stored in the jars, the color might change a bit but the flavor remains for quite a while. I like to add a tag with suggestions for use if I’m giving it as a gift. You can use dried rosemary for indefinite shelf life, but fresh rosemary has much more flavor.

  2. Jenna, Cornish hens with rosemary salt and oranges sound really good and different for dinner. It has been years since I prepared Cornish hens. I think I will add to my grocery list! Happy cloudy Tuesday!

  3. They turned out so juicy, tender and flavourful. I am totally using that filling for my next roasted chicken. And that rosemary salt is fantastic. I have made some thyme salt before and I loved it. Going to make some with rosemary!

  4. The rosemary salt sounds divine! So many possibilities!

  5. Sarah Anderson says:

    Jenna, this looks wonderful! It’s been a long time since we cooked Cornish hens, but will try this recipe. Patti shared a rosemary recipe too, so I think we’ll enjoy some delicious poultry dishes soon.

  6. Such a wonderful meal. I haven’t cooked Cornish hens in years. Thanks for the inspiration Jenna. Stuffing them and adding the oranges sounds so delicious. The rosemary salt is a great idea.

  7. I haven’t made Cornish hens in ages. The rosemary salt and oranges are wonderful ideas. I might have to put these on the menu again!

  8. Martha says:

    Sounds really good! Now that you mention it I’m not sure if I’ve ever cooked Cornish hens myself.

  9. Mary says:

    Delish! Love the combination of orange and rosemary!

  10. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors says:

    Jenna, this looks delicious! I see Cornish hens in the market, but I have never made them. I’m going to have to try them. The combination of rosemary and oranges sounds wonderful. Wishing you a wonderful day!

  11. Kim says:

    Jenna, these look absolutely delicious! I’ve never had Cornish hens before so must try this recipe! Pinned!

    • I guess Cornish hens are sort of retro, they used to be all the rage years ago, but they are really good and make an elegant presentation for dinner parties, yet easy enough for week night supper~

  12. FRANCES says:

    Saved the recipe. Those look delicious and easy. As an aside, love the Pepperidge Farm dressing mix. My mother also used it and it still tastes/looks the same as it did when I was a kid and I am now quite senior LOL. Cornish hens make quite a presentation. I haven’t fixed them in quite a while. But will put them on my grocery delivery list. Thanks.

  13. mhhwarmcozy says:

    This recipe sounds scrumptious, Jenna. I like rosemary and use it a lot in cooking. It’s been a while since I served Cornish hens, and need to add some to my grocery list.
    Thanks for adding this gem to the FWF link party.

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