Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Pan Sauce

  • 10.10.12

Cornish game hen is the perfect last-minute get together dinner meal. Easy to prepare and  half of a hen is perfect balance between both white and dark meat.  I always have two in my freezer.
The whiskey sauce is an adaptation from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. Very easy yet delicious.  The whiskey evaporated as it cooks, leaving a wonderful bold flavor into the cream and butter. Cognac can be used instead of the whiskey.
Rice was the perfect pairing. I added some wild rice just because I wanted something different. 
We enjoyed a nice glass of Nebbiolo red wine alongside.
Bon Appetit!

Tonight’s October 9, 2012 dinner:
Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Pan Sauce
Mixed Rice and butter
French String Beans with butter






2 large Cornish game hens, 1 ½ to 2 pounds each

2 tablespoons butter

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Herbs de Province

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, finely sliced

¼ to ½ cup of whiskey (I used Jack Daniel’s)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


For the Cornish hen:

Preheat the oven at 450º and position the rack in the middle of the oven.

Place a hen, breast side down on a cutting board. Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with shears or large sharp knife.  Flip the hen and flatten it by pressing down on the breastbone with your palm. Split the hen in two along the breastbone. Repeat with the remaining hen.

Place on a heavy baking dish and spread on each half, ¼ of a teaspoon of butter, Herbs de Province, salt and pepper and a drop of olive oil.  Place in the hot oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Poke the hen while cooking to release any juices.

When done, remove from the oven, place the hen in a dish and cover with aluminum foil and let rest.


To make the sauce:

Place the unwashed cooking pan over the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Lower the heat and add the whiskey, very slowly. With a wooden spoon scrape up any bit on the pan.  Add the shallots and cook until tender, 1 minutes.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and raise the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Add the heavy cream and the lemon juice. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over the Cornish hen.


1 ½ cups Jasmine rice

3 tablespoon wild rice

3 -4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook until firm to the bite. Drain; add the butter (less if you wish).

Serve hot.


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Comments (8) Post a Reply

  1. Yum! This looks delicious and naughty without being too too terrible.

    Erin –

    1. It was quite delicious. Thank you for reading my blog. Giangi

  2. Great looking food! Will try recipe this weekend.

    1. Thank you for reading my blog and your kind compliment.

  3. Linda Uhrich says:

    Looks great! Any substitution ideas
    for the heavy cream?

    1. Thank you. I would use milk with a bit of corn starch to thicken the sauce. If you a lactose intollerent…. Sorry i do not have the answer.

  4. Really like your blog and recipes. Hope you don’t mind that I pin them frequently

    1. Pin away Terry!!. Thank you for reading my blog and I am honored that you like my recipes and refer to them.
      Like your site my kind of heaven…
      Thank you Giangi

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