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Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens Recipe
Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens Recipe

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This is a wonderfully elegant entree to serve at a cozy dinner party for four. Your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen preparing the tender golden-brown hens and perfecting the full-flavored basting sauce. —Laurie Bartley Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 4 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine,sherry or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Tie legs of each hen together; turn wing tips under backs. Place on a greased rack in a roasting pan. Brush with butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Spoon over hens. Bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens in Quick Cooking November/December 2001, p27

Reviews for Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens

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Reviewed Apr. 23, 2015

"Huh. I made these last night before I saw this recipe. Funny, but my recipe (which I thought I was so clever in creating) is very close to this one. I didn't melt the butter, though. I mashed up room-softened butter with orange juice, sherry, a teeny bit of tarragon, and salt & pepper, then spread the paste over the birds. I then sprinkled a bit of brown sugar over them (for browning and carmelization) before putting them in the oven. They were delicious. But I will try this recipe next time, to the letter, to see which my family prefers."

Reviewed Dec. 31, 2011

"It was good, We ate 1/2 hen (like said above) and we were full, We ate with baked potato, green beans and whole grain roll..."

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2011

"The serving size indicates 'half' yet 4 hens serve 4 people. Can I presume that 682 calories is a whole hen each?"

Reviewed Jan. 25, 2008

"These are just incredible! The pan drippings make a nice dipping sauce for fries!"

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