Cornish game hens make great single servings or entrees for dinner party or holiday meals. You can serve the hens straight out of the oven, as you would a roasted chicken, with crispy browned skin and moist, tender meat.
These recipes -- seven different sauces that take less than 10 minutes to make -- give some pizzazz to Cornish hens. You also can use these ideas for roast chicken by increasing the cooking time accordingly.
These ideas are derived from "The Woman's Day Cookbook."
- 4 Cornish game hens, 1 to 1 1/4 pound each
- Various glaze and rub ingredients (see below)
- If you want to dress up your Cornish game hens, prepare the hens before roasting with one of rubs detailed below. Add the glazes in the last 15 or 20 minutes of roasting, as noted.
- Regardless of the glaze or rub you choose of if you choose not to add one, roast the hens at 375 for about 1 hour.
- When the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife and a meat thermometer registers 170, the hens are done.
- Serve Cornish game hens simply roasted out of the oven or with one of the variations detailed below.
Rubs and Glazes
- Citrus Glaze: Mix 1/4 cup thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons honey until well-blended. Brush the glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.
- Asian Accent: Mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons chicken broth and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Brush the mixture over the hens and pour a little into the cavities before roasting.
- Apricot Glaze: Mix 1/2 cup apricot jam, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons honey. Brush the apricot glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.
- Mexican Spiced: Rub the outside of the hens with packaged taco seasoning and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Lemon-Basil: Rub the outside of the hens with a cut lemon and brush with melted butter. Place one lemon half and sprig of fresh basil into each cavity.
- Mustard-Herb: Coat the outside of each hen with about 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with a mixture of dried tarragon, basil and thyme. Deglaze the pan after roasting with 3/4 cup white wine and serve with the pan juices.
- Garlic-Herb: Mix 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary and 2 teaspoons finely chopped sage. Loosen the breast skin of each hen and rub one-quarter of the mixture under the skin of each bird.