Cornish Game Hens with Wild Rice, Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing

These Cornish Game Hens with Wild Rice, Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing are so tender and delicious!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Cornish Game Hens
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 17 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 584 kcal
Author Holly Sander


For The Rice:

  • ½ cup uncooked wild rice rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For The Stuffing & Game Hens:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ pound ground sausage of your choice, casing removed and meat crumbled
  • 4 ounces white button mushrooms chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
  • 6 Cornish game hens
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chicken stock


For The Rice:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan, add rinsed rice and salt and bring back to a boil, and put the lid on the pan. Turn down to a low simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Then uncover and remove the pan from the heat.

For The Stuffing & Game Hens

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped onions and celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and saute for 8-9 minutes.
  2. Add the 3 large minced cloves garlic and saute one more minute.
  3. Next, add the sausage and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme and sage and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Fold in the wild rice and remove from the heat.
  5. Prep the game hens by removing them from the package, draining any liquid from inside, then patting them dry inside and out with paper towel.

  6. Stuff each bird with 4-5 tablespoons of the stuffing. Using some kitchen twine tie the legs together on each hen and season each one well with salt and pepper on all sides. Add them to a roasting pan and drizzle with butter.

  7. Roast for 20 minutes on 425, then reduce the temp to 350 for 30-40 more minutes or until they reach 165 degrees when tested with a digital thermometer in the middle of the breast. Baste the chickens with the chicken stock every 10 minutes.

  8. When the hens are finished cooking remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet. Turn the oven up to 500 degrees. This will allow you to get all the drippings from the pan for the sauce and allow you to crisp up the birds right before serving.

  9. A few minutes before you're ready to eat put the hens back into the oven for 5 minutes or so to heat up and give them a golden color.

For The Sauce:

  1. Transfer all drippings & liquid from the roasting pan into a glass measuring cup and allow the fat and juices to separate (the fat will rise to the top).
  2. Remove the fat then add the remaining liquid to a saute pan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and simmer for 6-8 minutes. This should thicken the sauce a bit and intensify the flavors.

  3. Serve the game hens with a drizzle of the sauce or serve it on the side and allow everyone to sauce their own. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note that the serving size for the nutrition card below is 1/2 of one game hen.