Rosemary and Black Currant Cornish Hen

We knew we wanted to cook a Spatchcocked Pheasant for Thanksgiving…but not having cooked a spatchcocked bird in a long time, we wanted to do a trial run to make sure we worked out all the kinks before showtime. As such, we called upon a stand-in bird…cornish game hen! It performed admirably in its test run role…and it even shined as the star attraction on our plates! For this particular recipe, we used a black currant jam that my ant (not a typo) gave us along with rosemary to build a nice blend of sweet and savory to our hens.

We served our hen with an Israeli couscous, lentils, and red quinoa blend and sauteed Kale. Other sides that would be great with this are Roasted Baby Potatoes, Rösti, or Spinach Stuffing Balls for carbs and/or Garlic Snow Peas, Kale Tots, or Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus.



  • Cornish Game Hen
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Black Currant Jam


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F, and line a deep baking pan with foil.
  • Spatchcock your hen(s).
  • Give a quick salt and pepper sprinkle on the flesh side of your bird, and then flip it into your baking pan so that the skin side now faces up.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on the skin, and then top it with your rosemary and a little more black pepper.
  • Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, and spread your black currant jam atop the skin.
  • Place back into the oven, and cook for another 15 minutes or so.
  • When your bird reaches an internal cooked temperature (measured in the thigh meat) of 165 degrees F, you’re good to go.
  • Remove from the oven, and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!


  1. Sounds like my kind of meal. I love Cornish hen (and can get it here at the open air market), lentils, couscous and kale (which in German is Grünkohl, usually sold after the first frost and typical for northern Germany).
    Black currant jam is an ingredient typically added to homemade red cabbage. The cabbage is cut in very fine slices or one can use a mandoline to grate it. After it is cooked in some water or orange juice with a bay leaf and allspice, cloves and a touch of ginger powder. A tablespoon of sugar is also added. After at least 90 minutes, but better still after the cabbage has rested overnight, two tbs of vinegar is added to the cabbage, which turns it carmine red again (it has become blue) and makes it slightly sweet n sour. That’s the time to add 2-3 generous tbs of black currant jelly, which adds more sweetness and a piquancy that makes the red cabbage a joy to eat. Here in Germany, it is a Holiday staple, most often combined with festive dishes such as duck, goose ( a German favorite for Christmas), venison (deer, wild boar, even hare and various other birds) and completed with various Knödel or Spätzle or even a festive Kartoffelgratin.

    1. I am going to have to try that red cabbage as a side soon! We have a bunch of venison in our freezer along with some duck…and I recently found more goose at the grocery store (and more importantly, my wife did not expressly forbid me from buying it). I can imagine that the sweetness of that cabbage would go perfectly with the gaminess of the meat!

Leave a Reply