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roasted cornish game hen in a baking dish

Stuffed Cornish Hen Recipe

This Stuffed Cornish Hen Recipe is the perfect recipe for your holiday dinner! Tender, juicy and stuffed with a cheesy rice stuffing, this is THE recipe to impress your guests!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Holiday
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
brine 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 1784kcal


For the birds:

For the Brine:

Cheesy Rice Stuffing



  • Bring ingredients to a boil and remove from heat.
  • Let cool fully and add the birds. Let brine for 2-4 hours (at LEAST 2 hours).

Prepare the Birds:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
  • Rub the duck fat on both sides of the hens.
  • Gently separate skin from the bird and slide a pat of butter under the skin as shown in the pictures in the post above.
  • Season both sides with the Cajun season and nacho cheddar popcorn seasoning.  
  • Stuff with the cheesy rice stuffing (see below).
  • Roast for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. At the 30 minute mark, remove the foil so the hens can start to brown.
  • After 45 minutes, increase heat to 450 degrees and cook 15 minutes, or until skin is golden brown and internal temperature is 160 degrees.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Cheesy Rice Stuffing

  • Cook the Rice-A-Roni according to the package.  
  • Once cooked, stir in the cheeses until melted. Set aside until ready to use.


  1. Make the brine the day before so it is fully cooled when adding the hens;
  2. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cornish hens (I use a Thermapen, which I LOVE);
  3. Make sure the temperature of the stuffing reads at least 165 degrees as well;
  4. Covering the hens for the first 30 minutes helps prevent them from getting too dark while roasting;
  5. Substitute olive oil, coconut oil, bacon grease or lard for the duck fat. I personally prefer duck fat, but any of these will work;
  6. To save time, you can make the rice stuffing ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add a touch of milk when reheating and stir it in.


Serving: 1hen | Calories: 1784kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 105g | Fat: 106g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 565mg | Sodium: 29495mg | Potassium: 1541mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 5342IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 709mg | Iron: 7mg