Sesame Cornish Hens - Carolina Country

Sesame Cornish Hens With honey and rosemary

3.8/5 rating (10 votes)
Sesame Cornish Hens

Cornish hens are an oft-forgotten treat, but are fun to dress up or down for a holiday meal (or to enjoy on a winter’s eve with a glass of wine by the fire). If preferred, you can roast on a rack in the oven instead of grilling.


  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary per hen
  • 8 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 
(or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Preheat all grill burners to high.*

  2. Combine salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Pat hens dry with paper towels and rub with salt mixture. Stuff rosemary sprigs inside hen cavities.

  3. Combine honey, butter, soy sauce and chopped rosemary. Divide sauce, half for basting and half for drizzling when serving.

  4. Oil grill grates and cook each hen over high heat 4–5 minutes on each side to get nice grate marks and browning. Reduce heat to medium-low, baste and continue cooking, turning and basting every 10–15 minutes until internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

  5. Scatter with sesame seeds. 

*Oven option: Instead of grilling, bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes; lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake until internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

A Better Bird

Brining can greatly enhance poultry, making it extra juicy, and can even help with caramelization — especially on skin. Try these instructions for an easy, overnight prep for your cornish hens.

Bring on the Brine!

Recipe courtesy of

Wendy Perry, a culinary adventurist and blogger, chats about goodness around NC on her blog at

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