Skip to Content

Lemon Herb Spatchcock Cornish Hen

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sharing is caring!

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

Last weekend my best friend drove from Ohio for a little long weekend bonding time. If you know anything about my BFF and I that basically means we went shopping, got pedicures and ate our weight in seafood. Seriously, we cannot have a weekend together without seafood.

In case you’re curious we had fresh oysters, mussels, scallops, shrimp and lobster. Basically we ate the ocean. If this were an episode of Seinfeld the ocean would be calling us out.

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

The one thing we didn’t eat this weekend were these delicious little hens. I made them a week before my BFF arrived and devoured them with Art. Well, to be clear I devoured one of them immediately {after taking a few pictures, obvi} and then reheated the other one at dinner time for Art.

My poor husband. Always eating leftovers. But luckily for him these leftovers were flavored with an out of this world lemon, rosemary, sage and thyme butter.

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

When I decided to make a spatchcocked chicken I laughed a little in my head. I’m sorry, the word spatchcocked is pretty much the best word in the culinary dictionary. I have the mind of a 15 year old boy and I won’t apologize.

Plus it’s a good reason to use my kitchen shears for more than cutting pizza.

True life.

{Not sure what spatchcock means? It’s a funny word that means you simply cut the backbone out of the bird and then laid it flat. You can do this with chicken and even turkey. It helps so that your bird cooks evenly and is great for grilling too.}

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

If you’re not sure how to spatchcock a Cornish hen (written out directions are in the post) and are a visual learner watch this video from Martha Stewart. No need to skewer the bird since we are not grilling but the first 1 minutes and 30 seconds is helpful.

If spatchcocking isn’t your thing you should give these Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Cornish Hens a try.

Print

Lemon Herb Spatchcock Cornish Hen

This lemon herb spatchcock Cornish hen is the perfect way to evenly cook Cornish hens. Simply cut, lay flat and rub with lemon herb butter. Hello dinner!

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 80 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 (2-1/2 pound) Cornish hens, giblets removed
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the giblets from the Cornish hens and place them on a cutting board, breast side down.

Using sharp kitchen shears cut down each side of the backbone, starting from the neck end down to the tail. Remove the backbone, pull open the hen, flip it over and lay it flat.

Optional: Near the bottom of the breast near the legs there should be some loose skin. Cut a small slit on each slice of fat and put your legs through the hole. This helps hold the legs in place but it completely optional.

Season the front and underside of the bird with kosher salt and pepper.

In a small bowl mix together butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Using your finger loosen the skin from the breast and stuff the lemon herb butter under the skin directly on top of the breast. Stuff each chicken with equal parts butter - leave at least 1 tablespoon of the butter in the bowl.

Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to rub over the top of each hen.

Place your birds onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven.

Cook until the skin is golden brown and the when tested in the thigh it reaches 160 degrees. You will know the hen is fully cooked when you wiggle the wing or leg and it easily jiggles.

Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes (I usually let mine rest 10 minutes) and devour.

Note: My Cornish hens were a little large so the cooking time took on the longer side. If your hens are smaller than 2.5 pounds make sure to adjust the cooking time and always test for doneness with at thermometer.

This Moroccan lamb couscous is packed full of spiced ground lamb, dried apricots, currents, fresh herbs and couscous. Plus it's ready in just 30 minutes!
Previous
Moroccan Lamb Couscous
These dark chocolate yogurt brownies are packed full of rich chocolate flavor and a hint of tangy yogurt flavor. Top with flaked sea salt and powdered sugar.
Next
Dark Chocolate Yogurt Brownies

Denise

Monday 19th of February 2018

By the way, the Martha Stewart video doesn't show how to spatchcock, but how to butterfly. Spatchcocking, as you describe and show, is to remove the breast bone to open the bird that way. butterflying removes the backbone, which is what Martha did in the video, despite using the wrong terminology. Food geek, I know...

Savory Lemon Recipes - Yellow Bliss Road

Sunday 15th of March 2015

[…] Lemon Herb Spatchcock Cornish Hen […]

Meg @ The Housewife in Training FIles

Friday 23rd of January 2015

Oh all the culinary terms that make me laugh. No shame. And our poor husbands...they definitely deserve more than leftovers but good thing they are pretty tasty like this bird!

Catherine

Thursday 22nd of January 2015

A simply beautiful dish. xo Catherine

Senika @ Foodie Blog Stalker

Thursday 22nd of January 2015

Seinfeld reference for the WIN! Plus an amazeballs spatchcocked hen. Hee-Hee :-)

shares