Cornish Hens with Scallion Butter and Lime

  • Active Time 5m
  • Total Time 25m

Serves 4

The typical Mexican combination of cumin and lime works beautifully with Cornish hens. Scallion butter both moistens the cooked birds and adds an extra fillip of flavor.
A number of hearty red wines would be nice with the straightforward, rustic flavors here. Look for a Corbieres from the south of France, a zinfandel from California or a Rosso di Montalcino from Tuscany in Italy.


  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1 1/4 pounds each), halved
  • 1 scallion including green top, chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving


Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oregano, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Rub the mixture over the skin of the hens and arrange them, skin-side up, on a baking sheet. Roast in the upper third of the oven until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with the scallion, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. When the hens are roasted, top with the scallion butter. Serve with lime wedges.

Menu Suggestions:

You could roast new potatoes right alongside the hens with almost no effort. Sauteed bell peppers would complete the meal.


Cornish Hens with Herb Butter and Lime

Mix one tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley and/or oregano, with the butter in place of the scallions.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 1436

nutrition information per serving

673 calories; 51g total fat; 317mg cholesterol; 467mg sodium; 1g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 49g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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