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Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens Recipe

Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens Recipe

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 YIELD: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.

Nutritional Facts

1/2 each: 682 calories, 40g fat (15g saturated fat), 235mg cholesterol, 819mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 0g fiber), 35g protein .

Reviews for Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens

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Cialci 225293
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."

eviestulipsrabbitry 90079
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..."

cheriwinkle 82135
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?"

scrambledwithcheese 51332
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2008

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

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