Sous Vide Cornish Game Hen Recipe

Sous Vide Cornish Game Hen

Commonly referred to as “those little chickens”, Cornish game hens (sometimes just Cornish hens) are really just a specific type of hybrid chicken slaughtered under a certain size (basically equivalent to the French term poussin, if you want to sound fancy).

We love sous vide Cornish game hen because not only are they more tender than larger format chickens, their small size makes them ideal as individual portions (for when you want to make your guests feel like medieval lords and ladies). Better still in terms of entertaining, cooking them sous vide removes all the guesswork, guaranteeing wonderfully succulent meat every time.

Whether you want to pretend you’re a giant or just enjoy delicious little birds, this recipe below for Sous Vide Cornish Game Hen is a winner!

Time: 2 hours sous vide
Serves: 4 people


  • 4 (½ to ¾-lb) Cornish game hens, spatchcocked*, and wings removed (you can save the wings for another use, like making stock or jus)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp picked thyme leaves
  • Flakey sea salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel


  1. Preheat your Nomiku water bath to 62ºC (143.6ºF).
  2. Season the hens with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the hens into a 1-gallon freezer-safe zip bag so that they lay as flat as possible (depending on their size, you may need 2 bags), then seal using the water displacement method.
  4. Lower the bagged hens into the water and cook for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the cooked hens from the Nomiku bath. Set the bag on a counter to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the hens from the bag, discarding any liquid, then pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels.
  7. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until the butter has foamed, subsided, and begun to brown. Place the hens, skin side down, into the skillet, pressing them flat with a spatula for maximum pan contact. (Depending on the size of your pan, it maybe necessary to brown the birds in two batches: if so, add more butter and oil as needed).
  8. Sear the hens for 3-4 minutes, until the skin is crispy and deep golden brown. Flip the birds and cook for 1 minute more.
  9. Transfer the hens to a serving platter and sprinkle with the thyme and flakey salt to taste. Enjoy thy repast.

Noms Tip:
*Spatchcock each hen by cutting on either side of the backbone with a kitchen shears (or sharp knife) to remove it. Splay the bird open so that all the skin is facing upwards. Using the heel of your hand, press down on the breastbone to break it so that the bird will lie flat—this makes it cook and brown more evenly. Yay!

This recipe for Sous Vide Cornish Game Hen can also be found on our Eat Tender sous vide community here.

Tags: British, chicken, recipes.