Whole Cornish Game Hens Deep Fried

READY IN: 12hrs 25mins
YIELD: 2 hens


  • 2
    Cornish hens (1 lb each)
  • master brine (#11266 by Di Neal highly recommended) (optional)
  • 12
    cup flour
  • salt and pepper (don't forget the brine is highly salted if using)
  • 1
    teaspoon garlic powder (granduals preferred)
  • vegetable oil (for frying) or peanut oil (for frying)


  • You need a tall narrow pot that will accomadate two hens with oil and still not be much more than half full.
  • To see if your pot is big enough, put the hens in and fill with water to cover the hens.
  • Make sure they can move easily and they are not tightly packed into the pot.
  • Remove them and check water level.
  • The water level is the amount of oil you will need to deep fry the hens.
  • Make Master Brine if using.
  • Rinse hens well with cold water.
  • Add to cooled brine.
  • I put them in a tall canister type bowl and the brine covered them completely.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.
  • Pour off brine and dry the hens with paper towels inside and out (important to keep oil from boiling over.).
  • Leave them in a colander to drain and come up to room temperature.
  • Once they reach room temperature, you need to go ahead and cook them.
  • Heat oil to 375º.
  • While oil is heating, mix 1/2 cup flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Lightly coat the first hen in the seasoned flour and shake off excess.
  • When the oil reaches 375º, hold the hen by the legs and slowly lower it into the hot oil.
  • Do this slowly to prevent the oil from boiling over.
  • Once the first hen is lowered completely, coat the second hen.
  • By the time you have the second hen coated, the oil temp should have come back up a little and you can go ahead and lower it into the oil with the other hen.
  • Move the hens around making sure all sides are cooking evenly.
  • The hens cook completely in 25 minutes or less.
  • They will be a light golden brown.
  • To hold the hens for 30 minutes, heat oven to 200º while frying and place a wire rack over a pan.
  • Place the hens on wire rack in warmed oven.
  • If you desire additional seasoning, you can add it to the flour before coating the hens or inject the birds.
  • I don't recommend the injection because of the boil over possibilties with the hot oil.