Cornish Game Hens

This recipe is special to me because Mama used to fix something similar so many years ago when we would come home after church on  Sundays. I’m talking about a good baked Cornish game hen in a Dutch oven. But this ain’t just a regular ol’ Cornish hen, because we’re gonna give you a treat! Check out the video below for our easy Creamy Gravy bonus! 

Let’s Get Started

When you’re starting,  make sure the hens are thawed out all the way. We’ve got four of them which will serve eight people unless you’ve got some really hungry folks. Pour olive oil generously all over the hens and rub it really well, and make sure you’ve got a good quality olive oil that will give good flavor. 

Now, when you’ve got your hens all nice and greased, use a ½ stick of unsalted butter per chicken that goes right in the hen’s cavity. Then, you can use Red River Ranch Original Seasoning to season them all over. 

Cornish Game Hen

Season and grease the chicken finely and handcuff them to put in the oven.

We’re going to be baking this in a 14” deep Dutch oven. Why a deep one? Because it gives us more room from the top when we put the coals on there  and will keep it from browning too fast.

Before you place the hens in the Dutch oven or dish, we have to handcuff them! Wrap the wings behind the chicken and secure, that way we have something that hen can rest on in the oven. See video below. 

Now you want to lay 2 pieces of bacon crossed on top of each hen. Add just a tad more of that seasoning and the juice of a half of a lemon.

Cornish Game Hen

Add bacon on top of the chicken.

The only thing that it needs now is fire, so we’re gonna lay some coals.

To cook this outside we’ll need a tall trivet. I’m using good heavy mesquite coals. Now, remember this is a dish that has liquid in it so we can heat this thing pretty hot. I’ve got a good heavy amount of coals in a ring around the bottom and loaded the top up well. This might be 45 mins to an hour cooking time, because we want this to get really tender. So make sure you keep your fire source going in case you need to add more coals while cooking. 

Cornish Game Hen

Put a heavy load of hardwood coal around and on top of the oven.

As it cooks, you wanna make sure and baste it from time to time. Be sure the broth doesn’t boil out! You may need to add more while cooking.  

Just before those hens get finished. I like to rake the bacon off the top of the hens so they can brown up evenly on the top.  You might want to add some fresh heat on top so it browns up really well. Remove the oven off the bottom heat and continue to cook with top heat only until the hens brown up a bit and the internal temperature is 165 F degrees. 

Cornish Game Hen

Remember to baste the chicken from time to time as it is cooking.

And here’s a little bonus with a tip that I’ve promised you. 

Remove the hens from the oven but reserve that broth. To the oven stir in cream chicken soup, about half a pint of heavy cream and bring it back to a boil. As a thickening agent, you can use three different things: you can sprinkle some flour in there, or use some cornstarch, but another great thing you can stir in some of instant potato flakes – works really well.

Cornish Game Hen

Bring the gravy to the consistency you want.

This is fine dining, and the hens are so tender they pull right off the bone! . So, go ahead and check out the full recipe in a video below and don’t forget to share the food and the recipe with your friends, family and neighbors, ’cause this is what it’s all about!

Cornish Game Hen

Enjoy the Baked Cornish Game Hen with Cream Gravy!

Watch us bake tender Cornish Game Hens – Full Recipe below!

Baked Cornish Game Hens - Cowboy Kent Rollins


  • 4 Cornish game hens thawed if frozen
  • olive oil
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Red River Ranch Original Seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 32 oz carton chicken broth plus more for cooking
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup cold water


  • Place the hens in a large bowl and generously coat with olive oil. 
  • Place half a stick of butter in each hen cavity. Generously season with the Red River Ranch Original ( or all-purpose season and lightly rub on. 
  • Pour the chicken broth in a 14-inch deep Dutch oven or large casserole dish. Take each wing and fold behind the hen and secure (see video). Place the hens, wing-side down, in the oven or dish. 
  • Cross 2 slices of bacon over the top of each hen. Sprinkle over the lemon juice and season the tops of the hens again with the Original seasoning. 
  • Bake, covered with foil, at 325 degrees F. for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. The last 10 minutes, remove the foil, rake the bacon off the tops of the hens and baste.  
  • For the gravy: remove the hens from the oven and reserve the broth. To the broth stir in the cream of chicken soup and cream. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water. Stir into the gravy mixture and bring to a light boil. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens slightly. 


Tip: When cooking outside in a Dutch oven, you may need to add more chicken broth as the hens cook to make sure the moisture doesn't boil out. You can also baste about every 10-15 minutes.