Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Paige Hicks
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 hen (5 ounces meat))

From the Kitchen of…Keith Schroeder, Cooking Light Columnist and Cookbook Author

"When I'm short on time or I'm serving just a few people, I'll roast smaller birds like Cornish hens."

Because Keith splits and roasts the hens spread out flat (called spatchcocking), the Thanksgiving main course is ready in less than an hour.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°. Place a wire rack in a roasting pan or on a heavy-duty baking sheet.

Step 2

Smash garlic cloves with the back of your knife; then, with the flat side of your knife, press them to grind to a fine paste with the sugar and salt against the cutting board.

Step 3

Combine garlic mixture, chopped sage, rind, and oil in a small bowl.

Step 4

Pat hens dry with paper towels. Rub garlic mixture under skins.

Step 5

Place hens on rack; roast at 425° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 160°.

Step 6

Remove hens; let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard skin. Split hens along breast plate. Serve with lemons.

Ratings & Reviews

Great recipe

December 08, 2016
Fast and easy and delicious! The only thing is if you have your birds frozen make sure to start defrosting process well in advance as it takes a while! Full review with pictures can be found here: