Pan Roasted Cornish Hen Halves

This is our sister post to Whole Roasted Cornish Hen. That night, we had two hens, and we decided to cook them in two different ways. Roasting dry was one way, and relying on the fantastic heat retention of Cast Iron and the amazing flavour infusion of butter was the other. Both ways worked really well and produced juicy meat. The whole roasted way allowed for seasonings to infuse the hen, while this way cooked a little quicker and was easier to plate. Break out your pros and cons list, and use that to guide you through your decision!

We topped our hen halves with Butter Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms (Recipe coming soon) and a spinach side salad. However, these would also pair well with Shiitake Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Lemon Pepper Mashed Potatoes and roasted or steamed vegetables of your choice.

Time: 45 Minutes


  • Cornish Hen
  • Salt
  • Butter


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove your hen from its packaging, and rinse it. Then, pat it dry with a paper towel or two.
  • Place your hen breast side down on a cutting board, and use a good pair of kitchen shears to cut down the length of the spine on both sides to remove it. If you’re squeamish, this will be rather less fun, but then again, you probably wouldn’t have chosen a whole bird to work with, so I assume if you’ve gotten this far, you’re good to go.
  • Use another paper towel or two to pat the inside dry.
  • Use your kitchen shears again to cut right down the middle of the breast bone to separate your hen into halves.
  • Give the skin and inside a quick salt sprinkle.
  • Melt some butter in your cast iron pan, and place your hen halves skin side down in the pan. Sear for about 6-7 minutes (skin should begin to brown), and then flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
  • Transfer your cast iron pan to the oven, and roast for another 25-30 minutes until your meat reaches an internal cooked temperature of at least 165 degrees F (per a digital meat thermometer). Juices should run clear as well.
  • When your meat is done cooking, remove from the oven, and let sit for a few minutes in the pan.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!


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