Cornish Hen: Proof that good things come in small packages

Cornish Hen: Proof that good things come in small packages

A Cornish hen is a small, immature chicken and is juicier and much more tender than regular chicken.

Cornish hen is not just another chicken. It is tender, juicy and full of flavour.

This version has a little kick of “sambal oelek” – just enough to keep it interesting bite after bite.


  • 1 Cornish hen
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 toothpicks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Rinse and pat dry the Cornish hen with paper towels. Make sure the cavity is dry.
  • Put the garlic inside the cavity and close it with the toothpicks.
Once the roasted chicken has had time to rest, cut up for serving.
  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil (butter), honey, sambal oelek and salt and mix well. Evenly brush the mixture onto the skin.
  • Place the Cornish hen in a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the skin becomes crisp and nicely browned. Cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil to prevent burning.
  • Turn the hen over and bake the other side for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the drippings.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lemon wedges.


  • Cornish hens, also called rock Cornish hens, are young, immature chickens, a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chicken, with an average weight of less than 1 kg.
  • The meat is tender and juicy. They are sold in the frozen food section of the supermarket without giblets, so cooking them is quick and easy.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder to the marinade for more colour.
  • Cornish hen can also be fried in an air fryer for a crisp skin.

This recipe first appeared in Rasa Malaysia

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.

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