Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine Winter 2003

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each, cut in half, backbone removed (see Tip)


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  1. Preheat 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.
  2. Meanwhile, 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.
  3. Transfer 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.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 522 calories; 32 g fat(8 g sat); 2 g fiber; 22 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 204 mg cholesterol; 18 g sugars; 12 g added sugars; 323 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 59 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 258 mg sodium; 545 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
  • Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 vegetable, 5 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat

Reviews 5

November 17, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Big hit! This recipe was fast, easy and packed with moist flavor. Just enough sweet and kick from the cayenne. I'm putting this on my top ten list. Pros: Very moist and flavorful. Easy and quick to prepare. Cons: Nothing wrong with this recipe, go for it.
November 23, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I, too, used an apricot glaze. I "eyeballed" the other ingredients and it was terrific. I served the hens on a bed of rice pilaf cooked with broccolini and it was scrumptious. The sauce from the pan, with the orange slices and onions, were a knock-out. I'm thinking of serving this dish for Christmas dinner. Nice presentation and very easy.
November 05, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
LOVED IT! The recipe wasn't too time consuming, and the results were fantastic! This will definitely be added to the dinner rotation!
March 11, 2010
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By: Gymrat
I used an apricot glaze consisting of 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup apricot jam, 2 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp grated onion, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Combine, cook and stir till preserves are melted. Brush over hens. Bake 35-40 minutes longer or until golden and 180 . Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Stuffing consisting of 3+ Tbsp. celery, 2 tsp. slice fresh mushroom, 2 1/2 tsp olive oil, 3 oz brown rice and 3 oz wild rice, reduced sodium chicken broth, 3 1/2 Tbsp chopped green onions, 2 1/2 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce. 2 Cornish game hens.
March 11, 2010
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By: Gymrat
I used an apricot glaze: 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 cup butter melted 1/2 cup apricot preserves 2 Tbsp. honey

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