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Las Camelias Cornish Game Hens served in a white bowl

Las Camelias Cornish Game Hens

This slightly modified recipe for Las Camelias Cornish Game Hens is a wonderful robust game hen recipe that is perfect for a dinner party, or any night.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Additional Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 10 mins
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 549 kcal


  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 10 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger grated
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil, or combo of both
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 pickled jalapenos seeded and sliced
  • Additional olive oil for the final fry


  • In a bowl large enough to hold the hens, combine the water, tequila, garlic, ginger, onion, salt, and pepper. 
  • Wash the hens and put them in the marinade, making sure to get some inside the chest cavity. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 24 hours.
  • Remove the hens from the marinade; scraping off the onion mixture. Strain the marinade and reserve for the sauce. Reserve the onions and garlic mixture as well.
  • Preheat the oven to 400º F. Place the hens on a rack in a low sided baking pan or broiler pan, salt and pepper them, then roast them 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to rest for 30 minutes.
  • While the hens are resting - make the sauce. Melt the butter (or heat the oil) in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes along with their juice; simmer 6 - 8 minutes. Add the cilantro and jalapenos and stir 1 minute. Add the reserved marinade, turn up the heat and bring to a vigorous boil; reduce the heat and simmer at least 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Add any pan juices accumulated from the resting hens and continue to reduce. Add some cornstarch mixed with water to thicken, if desired. Keep the sauce warm.
  • When ready to serve, heat some olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Cut the hens into halves; put them skin side down to sear, turn the hens several times to evenly brown and crisp the skin, about 5 minutes total. 
  • Serve the hens with the sauce.


This recipe does require at least 8 hours to marinate the hens.


Serving: 1gCalories: 549kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 31gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 745mgFiber: 1g
Keyword Cornish game hens, game hens
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