Grilled Cornish Hens with Citrus Recipe

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A simple citrus oil wonderfully coats moist and tender Cornish game hens. Serving grilled grapefruit slices on the side is an innovative touch.—Delores Moore, Fort Worth, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Grill: 20 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Grill: 20 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 orange peel strips (3 inches)
  • 3 lemon peel strips (2 inches)
  • 3 lime peel strips (2 inches)
  • 2 grapefruit peel strips (3 inches)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine syrup
  • 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each), split lengthwise
  • 1 medium grapefruit, cut into 1/2-in. slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a small skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add the citrus peels, cinnamon and allspice; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Discard peels; transfer oil mixture to a small bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, combine juices. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Stir into oil mixture; add grenadine.
  3. Brush hens and grapefruit slices with oil mixture; sprinkle hens with salt. Grill hens, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear, turning occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, grill grapefruit slices for 2-3 minutes on each side or until heated through. Serve with hens. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Grilled Cornish Hens with Citrus in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p92

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