The Hound’s Roasted Hens | Game of Thrones Inspired Recipes

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roasted cornish hen

What’s Up, Hungry People

“Bugger that. Bugger him. Bugger you.”

This is one of those iconic lines that make Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, a character to both dread and admire in Game of Thrones. While he’s the kind of guy who would give you nightmares, he’s also one you’d want on your side in a Westerosi food fight, especially over a roasted bird.

The Hound’s love for a good, hearty meal always spoke to me, and let’s be honest, he’s an all-around badass whether he’s wearing Lannister red or going rogue.

sandor clegane

Now, we’re not doing any ordinary bird here; we’re using Cornish game hens. Why? Well, because the Inn at the Crossroads likely had game birds as the staple for their pies and other rustic dishes. Cornish hens might be petite, but they pack a punch of flavor, especially when you infuse them with earthy elements like rosemary and garlic.

ingredients for roasted hen

Here’s What You Need

  • Cornish Hens: The star of the dish, providing a succulent, tender meat that takes well to roasting.
  • Butter: Adds richness and helps in browning the skin of the hens, while carrying the flavors of garlic and rosemary.
  • Garlic: Adds a pungent, earthy aroma and deep flavor, elevating the meat and marrying well with the herbs.
  • Rosemary: Brings a woody, fragrant element that complements poultry, enhancing its natural flavors.
  • Parsley: Optional, but provides a fresh, herbaceous note and vibrant color for garnish.
  • Rainbow Potatoes: Optional, add texture and absorb flavors, making for a more complete, hearty meal.
  • Salt & Pepper: Essential for seasoning, bringing out the natural flavors of the hens and other ingredients.
cornish hen and potatoes in roasting pan

Let’s Cook!

To start off, grab a bowl and melt some butter in it. Toss in a healthy amount of minced garlic and a few generous tablespoons of rosemary. Mix ’em up good. Once that’s done, generously pour this buttery goodness over the hens. Don’t skimp—get in there and rub it under the skin too. You want to make sure the skin turns a crispy, golden brown when roasting. For seasoning, a simple dash of salt and pepper will do the trick.

I decided to nestle my hens in a roasting pan alongside some vibrant rainbow potatoes. But hey, you can go solo with the hens or throw in your own selection of root vegetables. Maybe some carrots and parsnips, akin to what Hot Pie would whip up.

The Final Roast

There’s something so satisfying about digging into a whole bird, tearing the meat off piece by piece, just like the Hound would do after a gruesome battle. I have a strong suspicion that he could plow through at least half a dozen of these Cornish hens and still have room for some “bowl o’ brown” or maybe even a lemon cake, if Sansa were around.

roasted whole cornish hen

Tips for Roasting Whole Hens

  • Choosing Cornish Hens: Opt for hens that are uniform in size to ensure even cooking. The smaller, the better for a more tender meat.
  • Melting Butter: If the butter starts to separate while melting, give it a good stir to combine the water and fat again.
  • Garlic Burn Alert: Be cautious not to over-microwave the garlic-butter mix, as garlic can burn easily, becoming bitter.
  • Skin Separation: Use a butter knife or your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat without tearing it.
  • Rosemary Placement: Make sure the rosemary sprig sits comfortably atop the hen without falling off during roasting; you can secure it with a toothpick if needed.
  • Check Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F for fully cooked but juicy meat.
  • Broiling Caution: Keep a close eye during the broiling step to prevent the skin from burning.
  • Potato Variation: If you’re not using rainbow potatoes, russet or red potatoes are also excellent for absorbing those juicy, herby flavors.
  • Resting Time: Allow the hens to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This lets the juices redistribute, keeping the meat moist.
  • Serving Suggestion: For an even more authentic Game of Thrones experience, consider serving with a rustic loaf of bread and a simple green salad.
  • Leftovers: These hens make great leftovers! Store in an airtight container and reheat in an oven for best results.
  • Ingredient Substitutions: If you’re out of rosemary, thyme can be a good substitute, but use it sparingly as it has a stronger flavor.
  • Parsley Alternatives: If you’re opting for garnish but don’t have parsley, a sprinkle of fresh chives or even a lemon wedge could add a nice touch.

There you go, Hungry People! With a recipe as daring as Sandor Clegane himself, you’re well on your way to conquering the dinner table, if not the Seven Kingdoms. It’s a meal fit for a Hound who’d easily slay for a good roast. Even if you’re not battling White Walkers or dodging dragons, this roasted hen brings a piece of Westeros right to your kitchen. Serve it up, feast like you’re at the Inn at the Crossroads, and remember, the night is dark and full of flavors. Enjoy!

Sandor Clegane’s Roasted Hen | Game of Thrones Inspired Recipes

The Starving Chef
Unleash your inner Hound with this Game of Thrones-inspired roasted Cornish hen, teeming with flavors of garlic, rosemary, and optional rainbow potatoes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Fictional Feasts
Cuisine Game of Thrones, Television
Servings 2 hens


  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 8 tablespoons butter melted
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon parsley optional
  • 1 lb rainbow potatoes optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic and melted butter. Sprinkle in the rosemary from one sprig. Microwave the butter mixture until the garlic becomes fragrant and the rosemary softens slightly, about 30 seconds.
  • Wash the Cornish hens and pat them dry. Arrange them in a roasting pan, breast side up, with optional rainbow potatoes scattered around them.
  • Gently lift the skin from the meat of the hens and brush the garlic-butter mixture beneath it. Place one sprig of rosemary on top of each hen. Pour any remaining butter over both the hens and the optional potatoes.
  • Bake the hens covered for 45 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the internal temperature of a leg or breast reaches 165°F. To achieve that perfect golden brown skin, broil the hens for 5-10 minutes.
  • Optionally, garnish with parsley before serving.
  • Serve piping hot to the knights at the Inn at the Crossroads, preferably alongside a flagon of ale. Enjoy!
Keyword chicken, marinade
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