Garlic Herb Roasted Cornish Hens (Lechon Manok)

This is Garlic Herb Roasted Cornish Hens (Lechon Manok). Roasted Cornish Hen is one of the most common dishes in all the culinary traditions of the world. Almost every culture has their version of this dish with some including distinct spices, ingredients, and techniques that are common in that the part of the world. Enjoy this recipe from all of us at Filipino Chow.


  • 2 cornish hens, feathers and innards removed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary, dried and ground
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of basil, dried and ground
  • 1 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes, ground (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Thoroughly rinse and clean the inside and outside of the hens with warm water. Drip dry and place it in a large bowl.
  2. Get a baking pan large enough for the hens, preferably a glass one so its easy to see through the juices later.
  3. Put one tablespoon of olive oil in the center of the pan and spread it around so it covers an area large enough where the hens will be placed.
  4. In a small mixing bowl combine the rosemary, garlic powder, and basil. Also add the ground chili pepper, salt, and pepper to taste if you prefer.
  5. Stir the mixture until it is well blended.
  6. Now pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the hens in the bowl. With your hands spread the oil over the entire surface of the hens.
  7. Take one tablespoon of the seasoning mixture and carefully rub it on the outside of the hens with your hands. Use more of the seasoning mixture if you need to but leave at least one tablespoon of it for later.
  8. Place the hens in the center of the pan with breast side facing up, back side facing down.
  9. Take the chopped garlic and place it inside body cavity of the hens in the center.
  10. Place the butter inside the body cavity of the hens on top of the garlic.
  11. Put the remaining seasoning mixture on top of the butter inside the body cavity of the hens.
  12. Turn your oven on to bake and set the temperature at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  13. You will need to bake your hens for about an hour and 15 minutes for 2 hens.
  14. During the last 20 minutes of baking, carefully baste the outside of the hens with the drippings in the pan every 5 minutes.
  15. When the cooking time has expired turn the oven off but leave the hens in the oven. Continue to baste every 5 minutes for another 15 minutes while the hens cools.
  16. Remove the pan from the oven after the hens has cooled.
  17. Now with a metal spatula, carefully transfer the hens onto a serving platter.
  18. Remove any of the grey color bits from the drippings in the pan then put the drippings in a bowl for use as a sauce.
  19. Serve with white rice.
  20. Enjoy!

You will know the hens are fully cooked when the juices comes from inside the hens runs clear.


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