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Cornish Game Hen on a white plate with potatoes and vegetables

Instant Pot Mini - Cornish Game Hen

Much like a rotisserie chicken, this Instant Pot Mini - Cornish Game Hen cooked in the 3 quart electric pressure cooker, comes out juicy and tender. A fast dinner with a smaller portion size.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword pressure cooker cornish game hen
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 1 - 2 servings
Calories 227 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 1 2lb Cornish Game Hen (aka Cornish Rock)
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 small Onion, sliced
  • 1 small Lemon, cut in eighths, divided in half
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary (optional) or fresh thyme, or both
  • 1/3 cup Water*
  • 2 small Potatoes, cut in half (optional) If they are very small, leave whole and pierce with a fork


  • 2 Tbsps All Purpose Flour (use 3 if you like thicker gravy)
  • 2 Tbsps Butter, softened (use 3 if you like thicker gravy)


  1. Dry the game hen with paper towels.

  2. Rub the outside, and under the skin with butter.

  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Be sure to get some seasoning inside the cavity.

  4. Stuff the cavity of the game hen loosely with half of the lemon wedges, and the sprig of rosemary, if using.

  5. Turn on the Sauté function. When display reads “Hot” add the oil.

  6. Place the game hen in the pot, breast side down and let it cook for about 3 minutes undisturbed. Then use tongs to flip it over and brown the other side for 3 minutes.

  7. Remove the game hen to a plate and add the onion slices to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the brown bits up.

  8. Add the water and stir.

  9. Place the game hen back in the pot with the breast side up.

  10. Toss in the potatoes, if using.

  11. Cancel the Sauté function.

  12. Squeeze remaining half of the lemon wedges over the game hen and discard them.

  13. Place the lid on the pot and set the steam release knob to Sealing.

  14. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) Button, or dial on Ultra. Set time to 12 minutes using the + or - button.

  15. When cook cycle ends, let pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure by turning the knob to Venting (there may not be any pressure left, and that's okay).

  16. When the pin in the lid drops, it is safe to open the lid. Open and take out game hen with tongs and place on a baking sheet (if you are going to broil to crisp up the skin), or a plate (if not broiling).

  17. Turn on your broiler to 400 degrees (F) and broil the game hen until desired browning occurs.

  18. If you are not going to brown it, serve immediately.

To Make the Gravy

  1. If you want to make gravy with the drippings, turn the pot on to Sauté again. If you don't want the onion slices in your gravy, use a slotted spoon to remove them.

  2. Mix the flour and butter together to form a soft paste. You may need to microwave it just 5-10 seconds to soften it. Add to the simmering drippings and stir well until the gravy thickens. Turn off the pot and serve over the game hen and potatoes (if using).

Recipe Notes

*Use more liquid for the larger pots.