Olive stuffed Cornish hen

What do you do when you have a lot of leftover pumpernickel bread? You use it for stuffing! And since the bread in question is quite tasty, you need to pair it with rather bold flavors. So I choose to throw olives and onions in the stuffing. And it was a good call! The olives stand their ground and shine through the other flavors to give a bright finish to the dish.

If you don’t have pumpernickel bread, you can substitute it with some other rustic, dark bread or you could use wild rice.

And what is the best thing to pair with roasted poultry of any kind? Roasted potatoes! And that is what I did. Except I lighten them up a bit by adding volume using turnips and squash.

By the way, I only recently learned how to make properly crispy roasted potatoes and now they are my favorite side. Much better than french fries in my book! The secret? Roast in an oven dish with plenty of space and live them alone without stirring and turning. Add 5 minutes of broiler at the end of the cooking time for extra crispy.

Olive stuffed Cornish hen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 Servings

Olive stuffed Cornish hen



    For the hen
  1. Start by preparing the stuffing by chopping the onion, the bread and the olives in a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of the seasoning for roasted meat or a combination of sage, rosemary and salt.
  2. Stuff the Cornish hen with about 3/4 of the stuffing and stuff the rest of the stuffing between the skin and the breast of the hen.
  3. Rub the other teaspoon of seasoning on the skin of the hen, tie it to ensure uniform cooking time and place it in a oven dish. Put in the oven at 400F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. For the vegetables
  5. Peel and cut the vegetables into small chunks about 1/2 inch in size. Place them in an oven dish and season them with the seasoning and the oil. Mix well and cook at 400F for about 30 minutes.
  6. For extra crispy vegetables, place them on the highest shelf of the oven and turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes or so. For extra soft vegetables, add them in the same oven dish as the hen for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

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56 Responses to Olive stuffed Cornish hen

  1. Federica says:

    mamma mia questo è super piatto! da leccarsi i baffi!
    Grazie che passi sempre!!^.^ baci!

  2. Hey, I just saw this made the Top 9! Good for you!

  3. Delightful! I have not made cornish hens since my twenties… this is great inspiration to revive them. Your recipe is lovely – the stuffing sounds wholesome and delicious and you’ve cooked the hen to perfection!

  4. Your cornish hen looks perfectly roasted! I like the stuffing too with the pumpernickel bread and olives.

  5. Dara says:

    I love every part of this dish – olives, potatoes, yum! So savory and so comforting. Congrats on Top 9!

  6. Mmmm I am loving every element of this dish! Crispy potatoes really do make the best side, don’t they?!

  7. Hi Paola! Your chicken has most beautiful color. It’s so appetizing when it’s nicely roasted! I barely make whole chicken but it definitely looks nice on the table. And agree – I love roasted potato that’s crunchy and I do similar way to make sure it’s just done right. I’m a potato lover and I’m very particular about potatoes! =D

  8. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for participating in the blog hop. Wishing you all the best in your bloggy endeavors. Cheers!


  9. Chiara says:

    ha un aspetto splendido, mi piacciono le carni ripiene, grazie !

  10. Cucina49 says:

    What a lovely, unusual way to prepare Cornish hens!

  11. Medifast Success says:

    I have been already planning out my Easter dinner menu and we have all voted that we aren’t having turkey or ham this year, let’s do something different. Thinking your beautiful cornish hen will be perfect. Love the recipe, will do a trial run this weekend. I have 18 coming for Easter dinner, so sure don’t want to make up a bunch of hens and we don’t like. Already thinking the presentation is going to be just lovely, thanks so much. Will let you know how my trial run goes, fingers crossed.

  12. Gourmantine says:

    This sounds like the perfect Sunday family lunch!

    • PolaM says:

      Yeo, but because a Cornish hen takes much shorter than a chicken to cook, you can have your Sunday night lunch also on a week day!

  13. Paula says:

    I recently cooked Cornish game hens for the first time and I’m in love with it now! This recipe sounds great!

  14. Lindsey says:

    Hi! Stopping over via the blog hop! So nice to meet you! New follower 🙂


  15. Claudia says:

    It’s been years since I did a Cornish hen. Must rectify that – the goodness of pumpernickel, olives and squash are just a grand singing trio of delight.

  16. Pola, this family Never has a leftover pumpernickel bread. We love it so much that if I even think of using it for something other than just a plane bread, I would have to do a lot of explaining to my men in the house. lol This meal looks delicious, great ingredient combination.

  17. this meal sounds seriously divine…totally making me hungry!

  18. Gio says:

    mi piacciono molto le galline imbottite, mia mamma ne faceva una meravigliosa e ghiotta! è da tanto che non la fa peccato!
    mi annoto anche il tuo ripieno e glielo propongo non si sa mai eh eh

    • PolaM says:

      In realta’ le cornish hen sono piu’ dei galletti vallespluga che delle galline… comunque penso che il ripieno vada bene un po’ per tutto il pollame. Anche se non so se voglio mettermi in competizione con la gallina della mamma…

  19. Kiri W. says:

    Mmmm, I absolutely adore olives, so this sounds amazing. The butternut squash as a side sounds perfect. Wonderful recipe!

  20. Frank says:

    I really like cornish hens—they have a lot more flavor than your average supermarket chicken. The stuffing here sounds divine.

  21. Alda e Mariella says:

    La gallina ripiena mi piace molto, la tua è davvero molto invitante!
    Un abbraccio!

    • PolaM says:

      In realta’ penso che in Italia la cosa piu’ vicina a una cornish hen sia il galletto vallespluga. Pero’ penso che aggiustando le dosi di ripieno si possa usare un po’ qualsiasi pollame….

  22. Kelly says:

    Wow this looks amazing, what a gorgeous dish! 🙂

  23. This looks so good, it could just hop off the screen and onto my plate. I’ll have some good Italian wine w/ that, thank you. 🙂

    • PolaM says:

      It was a great way of using pumpernickel bread. I found that pumpernickel bread doesn’t last long, it either dries out to rock hard or molds. So I’m happy to have found an alternative way of using it!

  24. Natalia says:

    Ha davvero un aspetto saporito.

  25. Alida says:

    Che delizia! Excellent dish. Well done. Have a good week X

  26. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love the colour on your chicken. It looks delicous. I don’t think I’d be able to source that bread here in Sydney but I’ll try to find something similar.

    • PolaM says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I cannot really find that bread over here either, but making it is not that hard… Check out my recipe.

  27. Daniela says:

    Mi piace molto questa ricetta, e soprattutto mi piace molto il ripieno, una ricetta che voglio provare una delle prossime domeniche. Un abbraccio, buona settimana Daniela.

    • PolaM says:

      Eh si il pane nero alla tedesca funziona molto bene per i ripieni! L’ho provato per la prima volta settimana scorsa e mi sa che lo usero’ spesso!

  28. This sounds such a delicious dinner…I’d love to serve this for Sunday family lunch too!

  29. I love the idea of a sturdy tasting stuffing with pumpernickel bread and olives… it sounds delicious, especially paired with roast potatoes and the sweetness of butternut squash. By the way, yesterday I walked into my local supermarket and found a box of butternut squash for sale… in Milan!! I was so excited.

    • PolaM says:

      I’ve seen some food bloggers posts recipe with “zucca lunga” and some had pics of the above mentioned zucca and it looked like butternut squash. I have never seen it in Italy though. I can imagine your excitement!

  30. Raymund says:

    I will go remove the skin out of that roast and devour it.

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