Garlic-Lime Cornish Game Hens

by Kathy Strahs on April 27, 2009 · 20 comments

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By the time my husband and daughter returned from their afternoon outing yesterday at the neighborhood playground our house was filled with the comforting aromas of garlic-roasted Cornish game hens. They knew they were in for a real treat.

Ever since I first spatchcocked Cornish game hens on my panini grill I’ve been a big fan of these little gals. They roast so quickly and are just as juicy and flavorful as their larger counterparts.  So when I found a recipe for what sounded like a zesty, flavorful garlic-lime chicken marinade on the side of a garlic powder bottle, I immediately nixed the boneless, skinless chicken breasts it called for in favor of hens. Instead of garlic powder, dried cilantro and lime juice I freshened things up a bit with fresh garlic and cilantro and lime zest.  These aromatics tucked under the skin gave the hens a real zing, while the cumin and cayenne pepper in the rub added a welcome touch of smoky heat.

I’m sure the original recipe would have been delicious too, but my version is a bit more to my taste. With some savory Mexican rice on the side this was a meal anyone would look forward to coming home to.

Garlic-Lime Cornish Game Hens

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Mindy April 27, 2009 at 1:12 AM

This looks beautiful! I need to expand my chicken roasting recipes, and this may be the next one I try!


Risa April 27, 2009 at 7:41 AM

This recipe looks like something I would be afraid to make, but you make it sound pretty easy. Thanks!

Risa’s last blog post..Cookie Dough Pops


Kathy April 27, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Oh, it was incredibly easy! And didn’t take all that long either, which I find to be a plus 🙂


Dani April 27, 2009 at 9:08 AM

sounds very appetizing!! 🙂

Dani’s last blog post..#57) Hawaiian Drops


The Duo Dishes April 27, 2009 at 10:34 AM

A little cornish hen is one of the tastiest birds. So tender. Your cilantro/lime basting is nice.

The Duo Dishes’s last blog post..Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Teach a Man to Fish


Maria April 27, 2009 at 12:18 PM

You can’t go wrong with garlic and lime. Great combo!

Maria’s last blog post..Artisan Bread in Five Pizza Party!


Pam April 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM

This looks wonderful. I’ve never tried cornish hens – I’ll be on the lookout for them. The garlic and lime are a great combination of flavors.

Pam’s last blog post..Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Roasted Marinara Sauce


Melissa April 27, 2009 at 1:27 PM

That looks great Kathy. Cornish hens are delicious and yes, totally easy. I really need a new recipe for my household though, been making the same ones for so long. Thanks for the ideas!

Melissa’s last blog post..a weekend project


Esi April 27, 2009 at 4:07 PM

This looks like a great, fresh recipe. You’re obsessed with spatchcocking (lol). I just got a young chicken to try it again!

Esi’s last blog post..Daring Bakers April Challenge: Cheesecake


Elissa April 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM

This looks so easy and utterly delicious… I’ll have to convince my parents to make it tonight!

Elissa’s last blog post..Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Coconut, Lemongrass, and Kaffir Lime – 17 and Baking does Daring Bakers


Sandie April 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM

A bottle of McCormick’s spice helped inspire this gorgeous meal? I better head for the pantry and give my spice bottles a proper once over!

Sandie’s last blog post..Inns That Cook: B&B Getaways and Cooking Classes


Kathy April 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM

You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!


Gloria November 8, 2009 at 2:39 PM

This recipe looks delicious and easy to do.I’m going to try it tonight.


Kathy November 8, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Terrific – I hope you enjoy it!


Paula December 12, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Wow, this was an awesome recipe! I was searching for something with cornish hens and lime just because I had both in the fridge and wanted to use them together. 🙂 I didn’t have fresh cilantro on hand but I did have some dried cilantro leaves so I used that instead…Otherwise, I had all the rest of the ingredients on hand. Served it with a simple mashed potato and some green peas…Really great! Next time, I am going to get the fresh cilantro and do a mexican rice like you did. Thank you so much!!


Kathy December 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

That’s terrific – I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


Josie February 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

My boyfriend ran across this recipe when we were trying to find something to go with a bottle of dry white wine and use an extra lime we had lying around. This was perfect and easy to make. Plus the Cornish hens make the meal more sophisticated. I am glad we found this website in the process. I am making this again for the second time and I can’t wait!


Kathy Strahs February 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

That’s fantastic to hear, Josie!


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