Lemon Cornish Hens

I decided to prepare herbs and lemon Cornish hens on the EGG and this meal was beyond amazing! I used a cast iron pan and I even used the same pan to make a quick gravy that was out of this world…give this recipe a try! — Cindy Barbieri Anschutz, CindysTable.com


  • 2 Cornish hens (about 1 3/4 pounds each)
  • Olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 springs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Set the EGG for direct cooking at 600ºF/316ºC.

While the EGG is heating take the Cornish hens out of the package, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Set on a plate or platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Take 4 springs of thyme and put 2 of each in the cavity of the hen along with 1 rosemary sprig and 1 clove of garlic.

Once the EGG is at 600ºF/316ºC, place the Dutch oven on the egg and let sit for 5 minutes. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and wait 30 seconds then add the prepared hens breast side down. Cover and adjust the vent to slowly bring the temperature to 400ºF/204ºC.

In about 8 minutes the skin will become very crispy, flip to the other side as the temperature should be at 400ºF/204ºC by now. Add more lemon slices around the pan and on top of the hens (keep 1 or 2 slices for the pan gravy). Add remaining garlic and a few more sprigs of thyme and rosemary (reserving some for garnish).

Cook until the thickest part of the thigh registers to 165ºF/74ºC on your thermometer.

Remove from pan and place on a platter and tent with foil while you make the pan gravy. If you are not making the gravy then let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Gravy Ingredients

  • Dripping from pan
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 slice lemon cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, removed from spring
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, removed from spring
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Gravy Instructions

Take any of the large pieces of sprigs, lemon and garlic pieces. Set on your stove top over medium-high heat. Add in butter and once it starts to sizzle take a whisk and scrape up all of the bits in the pan. Add in chicken broth and continue to whisk. Bring to a boil then lower to simmer. Add in lemon slice, fresh thyme, rosemary and pepper. Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Drizzle over the Cornish hens. Delicious!

6 thoughts on “Lemon Cornish Hens”

  1. Patricia Makielski

    I’m confused by dutch oven and direct or indirect heat. Do you put the dutch oven over direct heat on the grill. I assume uncovered? Or do you put the dutch oven over indirect heat?

    1. When we refer to direct heat, this means that the convEGGtor is not used. The dutch oven should be placed on the cooking grid above the fire without the convEGGtor or plate setter. The dutch oven should be covered.

  2. This is the absolute best way to prepare Cornish hens. My wife and I have prepared this recipe more than 12 times and each time the outcome is without fail, crispy, juicy and moist hens. We have wowed both family and friends and ‘appear’ to be expert “Egg” cookers. Thank you for such great instructions.

  3. We cooked three hens tonight and they turned out fantastic! Followed the recipe closely but used clean BGE drip pan, the same one we use for lasagna, to hold the hens. Highly recommend!

  4. Recipe sounds great . I’m trying it out however are you supposed to be cooking over direct or indirect heat? From the description it sounds as if it is direct. I can only hope you can respond to this in a hurry. Thanks, Steve Bonnell

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