Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Sauce

  • 1 hr total
  • 15 mins prep
  • 45 mins cook
  • serves 4 

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Cornish game hen with whiskey and cream sauce. is the perfect last-minute get-together dinner meal.
Easy to prepare and half of a hen is the perfect balance between both white and dark meat.  I always have two in my freezer. My go-to when I do not have time to cook a larger chicken.

I love that you can present a whole, for the hungry crowd, or half of a cornish game hen in a plate and it looks fantastic.

What is a cornish hen or cornish game hen?

A rock cornish game hen, or simply called a cornish game hen, looks like a miniature chicken. Petite in size with a very tender texture of meat and flavor.

They must weigh between 1 and 2 pounds.

TIPS on Cooking with alcohol

The whiskey evaporated as it cooks, leaving a wonderful bold flavor into the cream and butter. Cognac can be used instead of whiskey. As well as bourbon.

Be extremely careful when placing alcohol in a skillet. I always remove the skillet from the heat source as well as turning it off.

Always keep your eyes on the skillet, of course, however pouring away from you, and keep all loose clothing away from the heat source too.
When returning to the stove start with a low flame and increase from there. Gently swirl it around and add the cream.

This whisky sauce is an adaptation from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. Very easy yet delicious.

Rice with butter and peas 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.

Giangi's Kitchen Signature


Nutrition Facts
Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 706 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54g83%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 298mg99%
Sodium 207mg9%
Potassium 565mg16%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 1030IU21%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Sauce

  • 1 hr total
  • 15 mins prep
  • 45 mins cook
  • serves 4 


Original recipe yields 4 servings

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  • 2 large Cornish hen
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 mediun finely sliced shallots
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


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

  2. Place a hen, breast side down on a cutting board. Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with shears or a 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.

  3. 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.

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

  1. Place the unwashed cooking pan over the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoons 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.

  2. Add the shallots and cook until tender, 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil stirring constantly

  3. Add the heavy cream and the lemon juice. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Serve hot over the Cornish hen.


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