Crock Pot Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens
Slow cooker Cornish game hens quick edit
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
764 Calories
54g Fat
6g Carbs
60g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 764
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 343mg 114%
Sodium 333mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 60g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 668mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cornish game hens are not game birds, and they are not necessarily hens; they are young chickens and might be male or female. The birds are usually about five to six weeks of age and generally weigh approximately 1 1/2 pounds or less. Cornish game hens were first developed in the mid-1950s, and quickly became a popular family menu item.

One game hen per person is the general rule, but it depends on the size of the bird. A small 1 1/4-ounce hen will serve one, but a larger 2-pound bird will have enough meat—about 10 to 12 ounces—for two people.

These Cornish game hens are cooked in the slow cooker with a little chicken broth and lemon pepper. The recipe is simple, yet it is versatile as well. Tuck some herb butter under the skin if you like, or sprinkle them with a dash of garlic powder along with the lemon pepper. For crispier skin, place them under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.


  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/4 pounds each

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably unsalted

  • 1 dash kosher salt, to taste

  • 1 dash lemon pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Steps to Make It

  1. Pat the Cornish game hens with paper towels to dry.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sear the game hens, turning to brown all sides. Alternatively, brown them under the broiler just before serving.

  3. Arrange the game hens in the slow cooker; add the chicken stock to the pot and sprinkle the hens lightly with kosher salt and lemon pepper.

  4. Cook on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours.

  5. Remove the hens and put the liquids in a fat separator. Pour the defatted liquids into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the liquids have reduced and the flavors are concentrated. Because of the condensation in the slow cooker, the juices will be watery, so taste for flavor before thickening the gravy.

  6. In a cup or small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Mix until smooth and then stir into the reduced liquids. Continue cooking until thickened.

  7. Serve the game hens with hot cooked rice, risotto, or mashed potatoes.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • The USDA recommends a minimum safe temperature of 165 F for chicken and poultry. To check the birds, insert a reliable instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • If you have leftovers, store them in shallow containers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. If the temperature is over 90 F, refrigerate the leftovers within 1 hour.

Serving Suggestions

Make Cornish game hens a satisfying meal with hot cooked rice or a risotto dish. Mashed potatoes are another excellent side, and go well with chicken. Or serve them with roasted potatoes. For an elegant meal, add a side of asparagus or roasted Brussels sprouts.

For wine, choose a good chardonnay or sauvignon blanc. A dry rosé is another excellent choice. Or consider Champagne for an extra-special dinner for two.