Crispy Italian Herb Roasted Cornish Hens

These Roasted Cornish hens are juicy and full of flavor! The key ingredient is the Italian salad dressing. The perfect recipe for any occasion!



Cornish Hens:


Herb Butter:



  • 1 1/2 teaspoons All-Purpose Seasoning (Badia Sazon Complete Seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Paprika

**I do not add salt and pepper, but you can if you like.


  1. Place hens breast side down in a large pyrex dish and pour dressing over the hens, (the hens do not have to be fully coated). (I use about 2/3 of the bottle). Place the covered pyrex dish in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, maximum overnight. (marinating the hens overnight will guarantee you the best flavor and also ensures your hens do not dry out while cooking. You can use a gallon size ziplock bag as well)
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F with racks in the lower third position.
  3. Remove marinated hens from refrigerator; shake off excess marinade. 
  4. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon Herbs De Provence spice blend or Italian spice blend, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a pastry brush, coat the hens entirely. Then lightly sprinkle the seasonings on the hen. Place the hens breast side up on a wire rack over an aluminum foil wrapped baking sheet with plenty of space between them. As you can see, I have spatchcocked one of my hens, this is an option as well. I have posted a video for reference in the notes section. 
  1. Roast hens at 400F degrees for about 15 minutes (this helps them form a nice crispy skin), then turn the heat down to 375F and continue to cook the hens for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reaches about 170 degrees and the juices run clear. While the hens cook, make sure you are basting the hens with the drippings in the pan every 30 minutes. This is optional, but It really does add flavor.
  2. Remove the hens from the oven, loosely cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving or serving.



  1. Line the baking sheet pan with foil under the wire rack for an easy clean-up. The veggies and herbs stuffed in the cavities of the hens will impart flavor to the meat as it cooks. Be sure not to crowd the hens on the baking sheets or else the skin won't crisp up properly and they will take much longer to cook.
  2. Spatchcock Chicken Technique - How to Spatchcock a Chicken **not my video**\
  3. Optional Step: Loosely stuff the cavities of each hen with 1/4 red bell pepper, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/4 orange, rosemary, thyme, and a bay leaf.