Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine Dinner: Orange-glazed Cornish Hens

When I was shopping last week I saw a pack of two frozen Cornish hens and thought, "That would make a great Valentines dinner!" So I grabbed a set.

I have never made Cornish hens before nor have ever eaten them. In fact, I don't even know anyone who has made them. But! I was not to let that deter me. I remembered having seen recipes for them in my various cookbooks.

When I got home I found this recipe in my Award Winning Taste of Home cookbook and decided to give it a try.

The recipe called for four hens, and I had only grabbed a set of two packaged together (since I was only planning on two for V-day dinner). I could have halved the sauce but decided not to, and of course ended up with extra which could be drizzled on your side of vegetables.

Here is my adapted version:

  • Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours
  • Yield: 2 Servings


  • 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • Pam spray
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


  • Turn wing tips under backs. Line pan with tin foil to catch grease drippings. Place on a greased rack in a roasting pan (I don't have a roasting pan, so I just put it on a cookie cooking rack on a sheet pan with edges, and sprayed Pam on it.). Spray hens with Pam; 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 meat thermometer reads 180°. Yield: 2 servings.

I steamed some fresh asparagus as a side and it was all delicious. I would definitely make this again. It was surprisingly easy and makes an amazing impression. It would be fun for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or even an elegant dinner party. (Who has those? - Please invite me.)

We each only ate about half of the meat on our hen and saved the rest for lunch the next day, so that is something to keep in mind when planning a dinner for people that are guests. Do they have doggie bags to take the rest home? Throw it away? (Please no!) Just something to consider. 


A romantic dinner for two!

Cherry pie filling = my friend

Store bought cheesecake = easy AND delicious

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