Lemon Leek Roasted Cornish Game Hens


This is a very easy recipe for Cornish game hens. This recipe has a nice lemony flavor that pairs well with the leeks. I just discovered that my local Aldi’s supermarket has great deals on these cute little Cornish hens. I had never cooked them or eaten them before. The closest thing I have had is quail, which I love. So I knew that I would probably love these too. They were wonderful. They were perfectly juicy and full of flavor. I thought game hens would taste gamy in some way, but these didn’t in the least bit. We got 1 hen per person, and I thought it would be fun to get my toddler son his own hen. We had a fun dinner. I served these with the roasted potatoes I posted last week, and roast broccoli.

Yesterday was a great holiday, the day that we honor Dr Martin Luther King. Dr. King was a wonderful man that accomplished so much for all people. He was such an inspiring minister, as well as leader for human rights. When my mother, my adopted mother, was young, she worked in a fancy department store in the shoe department. They were living in Macon, GA at that time. Bear with me, its been years since I have heard this story, and details aren’t my strong suit. In that time, Dr. King and his wife traveled  the south, where he spoke about racial injustice and worked to inspire others. Mrs. King came into the department store where my mother worked to shop, while her husband was busy working. My mother waited on her and she happened to mention that the next day, January 15 was her birthday. Mrs. King said you won’t believe this, tomorrow is my husbands birthday too. My mother was struck by her kindness and of course, her style. She described her as a beautiful, polite, and loving woman. The next day right before the lunch hour, she was surprised to see Mrs. King and her husband, Dr. King there to surprise her for lunch. Mrs. King had told her husband about the shoe lady at the store with the same birthday, and he couldn’t wait to meet with her. They were just one year apart. During their lunch they prayed, talked of God and love, and the end to racial and socioeconomic divides that did and still plague not only the south, but our whole country.

My mother was the daughter of a Baptist minister. This hard working Baptist minister was the son of a share cropper and he was a share cropper most of his life too.  My mother knew about slim times. I think it was a perfect example of what a wonderful man Dr. King was. He took time out from his busy day to take a poor white woman to one the most memorable events of her life. He was a selfless man and cared for all people, regardless of color, or socioeconomic class. He aimed to break racial and economic divides. From the inspiration of Dr. King, one of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “You can’t help who your parents are.” She meant when saying this that you can’t judge someone based on their family, let alone their appearance, which is what many of us do, especially southerners.

recipe photo

Yield: Serves 4

Lemon Leek Roasted Cornish Game Hens

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4.50 stars (2 reviews)
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1 Game hen per person
1 lemon per hen
1 leek per hen
1 tablespoon butter per hen, plus about 1/4 extra melted butter
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove giblets. Wash hens and pat dry. Salt and pepper inside and outside of hens. Slice leeks and cut lemons in wedges. Stuff the hens with a few lemon wedges and leek slices. Add 1 tablespoon of butter under the skin of the breasts and in the chest cavity.

Place all hens in a baking dish. Arrange extra lemon wedges and leek slices around hens. Pour extra melted butter around hens.

Roast at 400 degrees until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. This should take about 35-45 minutes.

All text and images Ā© / Eclectic Recipes
*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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