Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Winter 2003, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (25 votes)

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 sauteed greens.

"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,...
Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Hens

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each, cut in half, backbone removed (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 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. 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.

Tips & Notes

  • 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.


Per serving: 522 calories; 32 g fat (8 g sat, 15 g mono); 204 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 2 g fiber; 258 mg sodium; 543 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Potassium (27% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 vegetable, 5 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories


Entertaining, formal
Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Ease of Preparation
Health & Diet Considerations
Low sodium
High potassium
Gluten free
Total Time
1 hour or less
Main Ingredient
Poultry, other
Preparation/ Technique
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