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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.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2003


Recipe Summary

55 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees 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 degrees F, 30 to 35 minutes.

  • 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.

  • 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 Facts

522 calories; protein 35.7g; carbohydrates 22.4g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 17.8g; fat 31.9g; saturated fat 8.4g; cholesterol 203.9mg; vitamin a iu 322.5IU; vitamin c 28.2mg; folate 24.8mcg; calcium 59.1mg; iron 1.7mg; magnesium 38.8mg; potassium 544.5mg; sodium 257.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 12g.

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