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Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Hens
“When you crave roast chicken but don't have time to roast a whole bird, consider Cornish hens. The split hens cook up—juicy and succulent—in less than 45 minutes. Here, orange marmalade, spiked with ginger, makes an easy and delicious glaze. Serve with wild rice, winter squash and sautéed greens.”
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 large onion, cut into ½-inch rounds
1 large orange, cut into ½-inch rounds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 Cornish game hens, about 1½ pounds each, cut in half, backbone removed (see Tip)
1Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place onion and orange rounds in the pan. Place hens, skin-side up, on top; rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the hens until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the breast registers 170°F, 30 to 35 minutes.
2Meanwhile, combine marmalade, ginger, tarragon and cayenne. Remove hens from oven. Set oven to broil and place a rack 6 inches from the heat source. Brush the hens with marmalade mixture. Broil until glaze is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
3Transfer the hens to a serving platter or plates. Remove all but one orange slice from the pan and place over medium heat. Add water and bring to a simmer, using the orange slice as a spatula to scrape up any browned bits. Pour this pan sauce over the hens.
Tip: The bones of a Cornish hen are soft enough to cut easily with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Cut each hen in half through the breast bone. Cut along both sides of the backbone to separate the halves. Discard backbone.