Cornish Hen Recipe

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Cornish Game Hens with Fresh Herb Rub Pressure Cooker

Cornish Game Hens With Fresh Herb Rub Pressure Cooker


SERVES 4 – Cooker: 6- to 7-quart – Time: 10 minutes at HIGH pressure

  • 2 (1½-pound) Cornish game hens, rinsed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • pinch sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter mashed with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour



  1. Sprinkle the Cornish hens on all sides with the salt and pepper
  2. In a 6- to 7-quart pressure cooker over medium-high heat, heat the oil until very hot, then add the hens one at a time, breast side down
  3. Cook until very light golden brown, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Remove to a plate and brown the other hen
  5. If you are in a hurry, you can skip browning, but it adds a nice flavor
  6. In a small bowl, combine the herb rub ingredients
  7. Press the herbs with the back of a spoon while mixing to release the oils and work into a paste
  8. When the hens have cooled slightly, rub the mixture on all sides of each hen
  9. Return the hens to the pot and arrange them side by side
  10. Pour in the vermouth, broth, and lemon juice down the side of the pot so as not to wash the rub off the hens
  11. Close and lock the lid
  12. Set the burner heat to high
  13. When the cooker reaches HIGH pressure, reduce the burner heat as low as you can and still maintain HIGH pressure
  14. Set a timer to cook for 10 minutes
  15. Remove the pot from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes
  16. Open the cooker with the Quick Release method
  17. Be careful of the steam as you remove the lid
  18. Carefully transfer the hens to a platter and tent with aluminum foil
  19. Let rest 5 minutes
  20. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil
  21. Whisk the butter mixture into the liquid
  22. Reduce the heat and stir until the sauce thickens slightly
  23. Taste for salt and pepper
  24. Serve in a gravy boat to pour over the hens
  25. Portion one whole or one half hen (divide in half with sharp kitchen shears along the backbone) for each serving

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