Roast Cornish Hens With Rosemary, Potatoes, Lemons & Wine

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
Recipe by BecR2400

This is the best and easiest chicken dish in Italy or anywhere. If you really wish to impress your guests at a dinner party, serve this dish. Even if you can't boil water, you will be able to make this classic, since everything is simply tossed with olive oil, placed in a pan, and roasted. The potatoes are suffused with oil and fresh rosemary, the chicken is crisp and juicy, and the sauce in the pan is perfect for a last crust of bread. From 'Rome, at Home' by Suzanne Dunaway.

Top Review by Kirsten529

Wow! This recipe is amazing! I made this last night, & it was a huge hit. Everyone kept saying that it was the best recipe for Cornish game hens they've ever had. I am at high altitude so I did have to cook the chicken & potatoes for an extra 20 minutes, but other than that the recipe was perfect. Thanks so much!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the chicken or game hens liberally with some of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper inside and out. Sprinkle with paprika.
  2. Place the lemon quarters in the cavity, giving each (lemon) a little squeeze to release the oil from the skins.
  3. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and toss them with the rest of the olive oil and the rosemary leaves. Spread them around the chicken in a large baking pan.
  4. Fold a piece of aluminum foil double into a rectangle about the size of the chicken. Grease it down the middle, making a little tent, and lay the foil loosely over the breast.
  5. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, basting 2 to 3 times with the fat in the pan.
  6. Add the wine (it will quickly evaporate in the hot oven, leaving a lovely flavor in the potatoes), remove the foil, and cook for 15 to 20 more minutes.
  7. If the breast is not browned enough, turn on the broiler for a few seconds to crisp the skin, but watch carefully so as not to burn your masterpiece.
  8. Carve the large chicken or split the game hens and serve with the potatoes and the pan juices poured over the chicken.

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