Southern Style Cornish Hens and Cornbread Dressing

I have been reading cooking magazines since middle school and the Cornish hens looked something made from Le Cordon Bleu. Cornish Hens are basically young chickens that are great for roasting. I couldn’t wait to add this to my repertoire. As I was going through “Barefoot Contessa at Home” by Ina Garten, I found the recipe called Cornish Hens with Cornbread Stuffing. It was a perfect home cooked meal that felt like a mini Thanksgiving.

At the grocery store, I could only find frozen Cornish hens. It would have been better if they weren’t frozen because it took me some time to thaw them. At least they had the giblets removed already, so that part helped. Once they were no longer frozen, I could finally do the normal steps of the recipe.


5 boxes Jiffy Corn Bread Mix

2 Cornish Hens

6 Bay Leaves

1/2 Onion chopped

1 Bell Pepper diced

1 carton Swanson Chicken Broth liquid

2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Mushroom Wild Rice

1 pack Ground Pork Sausage You can also use ground turkey

1 clove Garlic minced

2 teaspoons Sage rubbed

1 tablespoon Celery Salt


Garlic Salt





Corn Bread

  1. Mix Corn bread per instructions, bake as instructed. Sit a side until broth and hens are ready.

Cornish Hens

  1. Wash Cornish hens in cold water.
  2. Place hens in a large pot and add 3 cups of cold water, chicken broth, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of accent, 1 tablespoon garlic salt, the minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Bring to a complete boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour or until done. If needed, add 1/2 cup of water to prevent from sticking. It is important to check broth levels as you will use the broth to add moisture to the dressing mixture.

Sausage or Turkey

  1. While hens are cooking, brown the sausage (if you do not want to use pork sausage, ground turkey sausage can be used). Place in a large bowl until broth is ready.


  1. Follow instructions on the box for the rice and cook as directed. Add the rice to the sausage in a large bowl.


  1. In a large bowl add corn bread, sausage and rice then slowly add broth mix from cooked Cornish hens. Add enough broth until the mixture is moist (almost like corn bread mix, but not as juicy).
  2. After the mix is ready, add the chopped bell pepper, chopped onions and sage. Do a taste test. If needed add more accent and possibly a little garlic salt.

Putting It All Together

  1. Spread the mixture in a large oven pan.
  2. Place the hens on the top and sprinkle with parsley and paprika as garnishments.
  3. Baked on 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes until the bread mixture browns.

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