Lemon Butter Cornish Hens

  • Yield 4 servings

Cornish hens are basted in a zesty lemon butter sauce and cooked to perfection.


4 -- Cornish game hens
1 cup vodka
8 -- thin slices lemon
8 -- thin slices butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons crushed tarragon
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Coat the hens with vodka inside and out; let rest for 15 minutes.  Carefully loosen skin over the breast with fingers, making a pocket.  Place 2 slices lemon and 2 slices butter in the skin pockets of each hen.  Season inside and out with a mixture of salt, white pepper and tarragon.  Place hens in a baking pan; coat with the Lemon Basting Sauce (butter, rind and lemon juice).
  2. Pour chicken broth in bottom of baking pan.  Bake at 450F for 15 mintues.  Baste.  Reduce heat to 375F; cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until done.  Remove Cornish hens from pan.  For sauce, reduce pan liquids to 1/2 volume; add whipping cream and sour cream.  Simmer to thicken.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Telephone Pioneers of America’s Calling All Cooks two (by:  Telephone Pioneers of America, Alabama Chapter No. 34., 1988).




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