Save on Pinterest

Contest-Winning Orange-Glazed Cornish Hens

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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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 thermometer reads 180°.
Nutrition Facts
1/2 each: 682 calories, 40g fat (15g saturated fat), 235mg cholesterol, 819mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 0 fiber), 35g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Cialci
    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
    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
    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
    Jan 25, 2008

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