Cornish Hen with Rice Stuffing for that Perfect Dinner Plans with the Family

This Cornish hen recipe is an elegant meal my mom used to serve on special occasions or when we had special guests coming over. Cornish hen is a tender, delicate, small chicken that is best served alongside yogurt cucumber salad or Salata Arabia.

In Arabic, this dish is called Farooj mahshi, which translates to stuffed Cornish hens. When I make this dish, I don’t stuff the Cornish hens. Instead, I just make the traditional Middle Eastern stuffing on the side. The stuffing is made with ground lamb, toasted nuts, and fresh peas. 

Cooking Cornish hens takes almost half the time to cook compared to regular chickens, making this Cornish hen with rice stuffing a quick and easy meal. During the last five minutes of cooking, I brush the Cornish hens with some ghee to give them caramelized color and crispy skin. 

Cornish hen with rice stuffing is the perfect way to treat your family or guests to a special dinner. They will think you spent hours preparing to make this elaborate meal, and they will be impressed with your cooking skills. After just one bite of this dish, your guests will be raving about it for weeks! 

If you just want to eat chicken, then the Roasted Chicken with Za’atar and Sumac is the perfect choice for you

What is a Cornish Hen?

A Cornish hen is essentially a small chicken that originated from Cornwall in England. Although they are also known as Cornish game hens, they are not actual game birds. Instead, they are farmed like regular chickens. Because of this, they have a relatively mild and delicate flavor and do not taste gamey. 

Cornish hens are a mix of two breeds of chicken: Indian game chicken and White Plymouth Rock. These two breeds are both full-sized chickens that are commonly eaten. 

They can mature to become full-sized chickens, but they tend to be eaten at a younger age than regular chickens, which makes them smaller. A typical Cornish hen only weighs about two pounds. Their small sizes usually mean that one or two people can eat an entire hen on their own. Even though Cornish hens are delicious and the perfect size, they are unfortunately highly underrated. 

Where Can I Buy a Cornish Hen?

You can find fresh Cornish hens in high-end markets, but they are a bit pricey! Alternatively, you can purchase frozen Cornish hens at regular markets for a more affordable price. Frozen Cornish hens should simply be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two until they defrost.  

How to Cook this dish?

Cornish hens can be cooked in the same way you would cook a whole chicken. You can roast them in the oven, grill them on the BBQ, or even braise them. Try out a few recipes, including this one, to see what your favorite way is to cook a Cornish hen!

How Long Does It Take to Cook Cornish Hen? 

Since Cornish hens are small chickens, they take less time to cook. Although marinating the Cornish hens takes about an hour, the whole meal only took about an hour to put together. Grilling Cornish hens takes even less time than baking them in the oven. Whatever method you use to cook your Cornish hen, you should make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 



Adjust Servings
6 Cornish hens
2 lemons (juiced)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons baharat
1 tablespoon Ghee or clarified butter
salt and pepper to taste
For the Rice Stuffing:
half-pound of ground lamb and a half-pound of ground beef
2 cups peas (either fresh or frozen)
2 cups basmati rice (washed and soaked in warm water for 25 minutes and drained )
1 onion (chopped)
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup toasted slivered almond
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon baharat
1 tablespoon hewaja (substitute with 1 teaspoon curry and 1 teaspoon turmeric)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
4 cups chicken stock or water


Rub the outside and the inside of the Cornish hens with some salt and vinegar and wash it with cold water. Pat the Cornish hens dry with some paper towels.
Drizzle the Cornish hens with some olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle some salt, pepper, paprika, and a small amount of Bharat. Then, cross the legs and tie them together.
Let them marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
Mark as complete
When ready, preheat the oven to 375 F. Arrange the Cornish hens on a baking tray and cook them covered for 30 minutes. Then, uncover them and cook for another 15 minutes.
Brush the Cornish hens with one tablespoon of ghee and turn on the broiler in your oven. Brown the Cornish hens under the broiler to caramelize color for about 3 minutes. Make sure the Cornish hens have an internal temperature of 165 F.
Mark as complete
Over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven pot, add the two tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the ground meats and break them apart with a wooden spoon.
Add the chopped onion, and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add the spices and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Mark as complete
Add the stock or the water and bring to a boil. Add the rice, peas, and ghee.
Lower the heat to low and simmer until the rice absorbs all the water for about 25 minutes; turn off the heat and keep the lid close for another 15 minutes.
Mark as complete
How to Serve Cornish Hen with Rice Stuffing?
This dish can be served on a large platter with the fluffed-up rice on the bottom and the Cornish hens on top. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and almonds over the top for a toasted, nutty flavor. Serve the Cornish hen with a side of yogurt sauce or Salata Arabia and enjoy!
Mark as complete
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