Barbecued Cornish Hens Recipe

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I came up with this recipe when I was just a teenager and have made it quite often since then. —Diane Widmer, Blue Island, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 4 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


  1. Rub Cornish hens with butter; sprinkle salt and pepper inside cavity and over skin. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Baste hens with sauce. Bake 45 minutes longer or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting frequently. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Barbecued Cornish Hens in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p69

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