The mustard in this dish surprises people. Combined with the citrus, it provides a real double "zing". You can also vary the ingredients, if you like. As an example, I've found the hens are tasty with orange marmalade. My husband's a grade school principal, and we have a 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son—resulting in a lot of schedules to juggle in our house. Sometimes, I'll cut the hens in half and have supper ready in 45 minutes.
- 4 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
- Juice and grated peel of 1 orange
- Tie legs of hens together; turn wing tips under backs. In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Simmer 5 minutes. Spoon half of the sauce over hens.
- Place hens breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Bake at 350° for about 1-1/4 hours or until meat juices run clear. Brush hens occasionally with remaining sauce. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Citrus-Baked Cornish Hens in Country Woman July/August 1991, p33
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