Delicious Irish Cornish Game Hens Recipe with Cabbage

Picture this: it’s a cozy evening at home with loved ones, and the warm aroma of a flavorful Irish Cornish Game Hen with Cabbage Recipe is wafting from the kitchen. The succulent Cornish game hens are cooked to perfection, seasoned with a blend of global gourmet herbs, and crispy bacon that adds an extra layer of taste. The cabbage is sautéed until tender and delicious and drizzled with creamy sauce made with heavy cream and dry vermouth.

If you’re looking for an impressive dish to serve for a special occasion or simply want to elevate your weeknight dinners, then look no further. This Irish Cornish Game Hen with Cabbage recipe brings together different flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds.

I’m excited to take you on this culinary journey with me as we recreate this beloved dish that is popular in Ireland. This recipe takes just 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook yet yields rich, satisfying, and comforting flavors that will have you craving more. So let’s put on our aprons, preheat our ovens, and get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage
Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage

If you’re a fan of hearty Irish fare that packs a punch in the taste department, this Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. This dish blends the bold flavors of nutmeg, thyme, cider vinegar, and dry vermouth to create a truly unique and delicious culinary experience.

One reason you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, feeding a hungry family, or simply cooking for one or two, this recipe can be scaled up or down to suit your needs. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to use up any leftover cabbage you may have on hand.

Another reason this recipe is so great is that it’s easy to make. With just a few simple steps and some basic ingredients like Cornish game hens, bacon, leeks, and potatoes, you can whip up an impressive and satisfying meal in no time. And even better – this recipe is keto-friendly!

But perhaps the best reason to try this dish is the unbeatable combination of flavors and textures. The succulent Cornish game hens are perfectly complemented by the savory bacon and tender cabbage. Plus, the fresh thyme and herb seasoning mix really take this dish to the next level.

So what are you waiting for? Give this Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe a try and discover why it’s quickly becoming a favorite of home chefs and foodies alike.

Ingredient List

 Nestled on a bed of fluffy cabbage, these hens are ready to be devoured!
Nestled on a bed of fluffy cabbage, these hens are ready to be devoured!

Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage Recipe:

  • 2 Cornish game hens, quartered
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 leeks, sliced thin
  • 1/2 lb of bacon, diced
  • 2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of dry vermouth
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Herb seasoning mix (such as Global Gourmet)

It is essential to get the right type and amount of ingredients to achieve the perfect taste for this dish. Don’t forget to adjust your shopping list accordingly.

The Recipe How-To

 Nothing beats a heavenly forkful of succulent Cornish game hen with a side of savory cabbage.
Nothing beats a heavenly forkful of succulent Cornish game hen with a side of savory cabbage.

Preparing the Cornish Game Hens and Cabbage

Step One – Wash the Cornish game hens under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Quarter the hens into four pieces, using a sharp kitchen knife.

Step Two – Cut 1 medium head of cabbage into 8 wedges and remove the core. Set aside.

Step Three – Rinse 3 leeks under cold running water to remove any dirt. Cut off the root ends, then slice each leek in half lengthways. Cut each half of the leek into 2-inch pieces.

Preparing the Seasoning Mix and Bacon

Step Four – In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of herb seasoning mix, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step Five – In a large skillet over medium heat, cook 4 strips of bacon until crispy. Remove from skillet and crumble into small pieces.

Roasting the Cornish Game Hens and Cabbage

Step Six – In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter and sauté the leeks for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Step Seven – Add the cabbage to the skillet with the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until softened.

Step Eight – Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step Nine – Stuff each quartered chicken piece with a handful of cabbage mixture and arrange them on a large sheet pan.

Step Ten – Brush each piece of stuffed chicken with melted butter from the cabbage mixture pan.

Cooking Time

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, brushing with more melted butter every 15 minutes until golden brown. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

Now you can enjoy the authentic flavors of Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage Recipe served with a side of bacon and a drizzle of cider vinegar.

Substitutions and Variations

 Close your eyes and savor the tender and juicy meat of these Irish Cornish game hens.
Close your eyes and savor the tender and juicy meat of these Irish Cornish game hens.

Looking to mix things up with this Cornish game hen and cabbage recipe? There are a few substitutions and variations you can try to put your own twist on the dish. Here are some ideas for you:

– Mix up the vegetables: While cabbage is a traditional choice, you could experiment with some other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or turnips. Or how about adding some kale or spinach to the mix?

– Go for a different seasoning: If you’re not feeling like using the global gourmet herb seasoning mix, you could swap it out for some fresh rosemary, thyme or even curry powder. Try experimenting with flavors until you find one that works well for you.

– Try different fruits: In this recipe, apples are used to add a touch of sweetness to the dish, but feel free to play around with other fruits like cranberries, pears or even dried fruit like apricots.

– Add more herbs and spices: Looking for even more flavor? Consider adding some extra herbs or spices like ground ginger or coriander to the mix.

– Change up the meat: Love the idea of cooking Cornish game hens but not necessarily feeling like chicken tonight? You can also use Cornish game hens’ similar meaty cousin quail in this recipe!

– Make it vegetarian-friendly: Just because this is marketed as Irish Cornish game hens with cabbage doesn’t mean vegetarians can’t enjoy this plate as well! Simply swap out the chicken for tofu or tempeh and voila!

Remember, these are just suggestions. Feel free to make your own substitutions according to your preferences – who knows, maybe you’ll discover something even better than the original recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 You don't need a big bird for a big taste with these Cornish game hens, especially when paired with cabbage.
You don’t need a big bird for a big taste with these Cornish game hens, especially when paired with cabbage.

Serve these Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage as the main course of a festive holiday meal or a special dinner. The tender and juicy meat of the hens pairs perfectly with the savory cabbage, and the herb seasoning creates a delightful aroma that stimulates your appetite.

For sides, consider roasted potatoes, buttery carrots, or steaming green beans to complement the dish’s earthy flavors. Or try some Asian-inspired dishes like stir-fried bok choy, sesame roasted broccoli, or soy-glazed mushrooms for an exotic twist.

To add more sweetness, serve the hens with a rich and tangy raspberry sauce drizzle over them. Besides, wine lovers cannot go wrong by pairing it with a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Meanwhile, those who prefer white wine can pair it delicately with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. As for beer aficionados, a crisp lager or ale will balance out the flavors harmoniously.

The hens’ versatility means they can adapt well to different dietary needs or preferences; they have plenty of protein to meet keto diet standards while remaining gluten-free. Furthermore, this dish is perfect for both slow cooker and instant pot users looking for an easy meal high in flavor and nutrition.

However you choose to serve these Cornish Hens with Cabbage Recipe, your guests will savor every bite and appreciate the dining experience as a gastronomic journey.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Comfort food at its best! Dig into a plate full of warm, buttery cabbage and luscious Cornish game hens.
Comfort food at its best! Dig into a plate full of warm, buttery cabbage and luscious Cornish game hens.

This Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, dinner parties, or even holiday feasts. If you want to make this dish ahead of time, you can easily prepare the components separately and then reheat them when ready to serve.

To make the hens ahead of time, roast them until they are cooked through but still tender. Allow them to cool completely before covering tightly with plastic wrap and storing in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

The cabbage can also be prepared in advance by sautéing it along with the leeks and bacon. Once cooled, store the cabbage mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to reheat. To reheat, simply add a little butter to a large skillet over medium heat and cook until heated through.

If you have any leftover hens or cabbage mixture after your meal, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Simply reheat as directed above.

For best results, do not freeze this dish as it may affect the texture of the cooked hens and cabbage.

In summary, this dish can be made ahead and stored in separate containers before reheating when it is needed. This makes it a perfect option for meal prepping or entertaining guests when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking right before serving your meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These hens may be small, but their flavor certainly
These hens may be small, but their flavor certainly

Achieving a memorable dish is all about perfecting the art of cooking. As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I would like to share some tips for getting the Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe just right.

To start with, remain consistent with the measurements given in the recipe for each ingredient. Any slight deviations can lead to undesirable results. For instance, if too much cider vinegar or heavy cream is used, both can overpower the flavor of the hens and cabbage.

Secondly, when cooking the cornish game hens, keep an eye on them to ensure they cook evenly. To help achieve this, baste them regularly with the remaining liquid. This technique locks in more moisture and flavors while preventing over-drying and charring.

For an irresistible meal, I recommend using quality herb seasoning mix such as Global Gourmet Herb Seasoning Mix. When used generously, your Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage dish will have a bold and lasting taste that satisfies.

While roasting the cornish game hens, adding bacon strips or other meats beneath them give off a smoky fragrance that adds excitement to your dish.

Lastly, before serving the dish garnish with fresh thyme for added aroma and color pop. Alternatively, you may decide to add chopped apples to the cabbage recipe for a fruity flavor that gives new life to your Irish Cornish Game Hens.

With these tips in mind, you are bound to achieve a mouth-watering Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage that is sure to leave everyone at your dining table satisfied.


As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I understand that readers may have questions about the Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe. In this FAQ section, I will address commonly asked questions to ensure that you feel confident in preparing this delicious dish.

What is the difference between a Cornish hen and a Cornish game hen?

A Cornish Game Hen is a type of bird that is bred and processed when they are very young, typically around 4-5 weeks old. This results in a small bird that weighs no more than 2 pounds and has a thin skin and tender meat, which makes it ideal for absorbing flavors from marinades, spices, and sauces. These guidelines are established by the USDA.

Do you cook Cornish hens breast up or down?

To get started on making this delicious British roast chicken dish, position the chicken on a rack with the breast facing upwards in a shallow roasting pan. Leave it uncovered and baste it regularly with butter while roasting for about 1 hour. In case you’re using a hen that weighs above 1lb 2oz, increase the roasting time to 1 hour and 15 minutes. You’ll know that the chicken is fully cooked when the inner thigh temperature measures 180°F on an instant read thermometer.

Do you wash Cornish hens before baking?

Before cooking the Cornish hens, there’s no need to rinse them off with water. Simply pour the Rotel sauce over the hens, followed by adding ½ cup of water into the slow cooker.

What is the best way to serve Cornish hens?

As a chef in the realm of British cuisine, I have learned that pairing a succulent Cornish hen with a complementary side dish is crucial to balancing out its savoriness. A starchy dish such as Mushroom Rice is the perfect accompaniment to this dish. In addition, Glazed Carrots, Roasted Red Potatoes and Scalloped Potatoes are great side dish options that will enhance the flavor profile of the bird. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with their natural sweetness add an extra layer of depth to the meal while a classic Mac and Cheese can add a rich and creamy texture. Soft and pillowy Dinner Rolls are also a great choice to round out the meal. Finally, a Fresh Salad with a light dressing can provide a refreshing element to the meal.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Irish Cornish Game Hens with Cabbage recipe is a perfect meal for any occasion. The combination of tender game hen and savory cabbage blends perfectly with the mixture of spices and herbs to create a unique taste of Britain in every bite. With its versatility, this recipe can easily be adjusted to fit specific dietary needs or preferences. Whether you are hosting a dinner party, making a family meal or just want to try something new in the kitchen, this dish is sure to satisfy.

So why not give this recipe a try? Impress your guests or family members with the taste of classic British cuisine. You can even experiment with different variations or substitutions to add your own twist to the recipe. Don’t forget to share your experience and show off your culinary skills on social media too! And always remember, cooking is an art – so have fun and enjoy the process.

Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage

Irish Cornish Game Hens With Cabbage Recipe

This makes a wonderful dinner with an Irish flair. I love cabbage with bacon so I can't resist this easy to put together but filling meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat, Pork, Poultry, Stove Top
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Calories 989.8kcal


  • 1 medium head of cabbage (about 1 1/2-2 lbs)
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 Cornish hens, quartered (chicken pieces can be used)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons global gourmet herb seasoning mix (see separate recipe)
  • 9 ounces sliced bacon
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar


  • Core and thinly slice the cabbage. Rinse the leeks wekk, split in half lengthwise and rinse between the layers to remove hidden dirt. Thinly slice the leeks crosswise, into half circles. Cut your Cornish Hen and rub with the global gourmet herb seasoning.
  • Slice the bacon into 1/3" pieces. In a large skillet, fry the b acon until crisp. Drain on paper towls, leaving 2 Tbs rendered bacon fat in the pan and reserving any poured off fat.
  • Over medium high heat, brown the hen peices on all sides. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the pieces until almost done, just slightly pink in the center. Remove the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the leeks for a minute or so until they begin to soften. Add the cabbage and 3 thyme sprigs and cook just until the cabbage starts to soften, adding more bacon fat if needed. Add the vermouth and cook 1 minute. Stir in the cream and nutmeg. Place the hen pieces on top. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, too cook the hen through and to blend the flavors.
  • Just before serving, season the cabbage with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the vinegar, adding more as needed to perk up the flavors. Arrange the hen pieces on top of the cabbage. Sprinkle with bacon and the remaining 3 sprigs of thyme.


Serving: 631g | Calories: 989.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.4g | Protein: 38.4g | Fat: 82.8g | Saturated Fat: 41.5g | Cholesterol: 335.5mg | Sodium: 718mg | Fiber: 6.5g | Sugar: 10.9g

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