Cornish Game Hen Recipe with Orange, Rosemary, and Sherry
This Cornish Game Hen Recipe is perfect for Easter or any other occasion! The bright flavors of the orange, sherry, and rosemary will have everyone wanting more.
This cornish game hen recipe was created in connection with my partnership with Holland House Cooking Wines.
Raise your hand if you eat ham every single Easter. I bet a lot of you are raising your hands. As much as I love ham (especially this five ingredient slow cooker maple dijon ham), I think there comes a time for mixing it up a little. Blow your family and friends away with this beautiful cornish game hen recipe. They’ll be impressed, but more importantly, their taste buds will be satisfied with the bright citrus of the orange and the savory pine notes of the rosemary.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of preparing a cornish game hen recipe, don’t be! It’s really simple. If you can cook chicken, you can cook cornish game hen.
Ben’s mom makes a cornish game hen recipe occasionally and she stuffs them with rice pilaf. They are delicious! The day I made this cornish game hen recipe, I texted Ben and told him I was making cornish hens for dinner. When he got home and began to eat them, he asked where the rice pilaf was. He thought the rice was what made the cornish game hen a cornish game hen. But he was perfectly happy to eat this version as well, once I cleared things up.
How to Make this Cornish Game Hen:
This recipe is one of those great ones that looks super impressive but in reality is quite easy to make. Those are my favorite kind. As always, scroll down for the complete and printable recipe card.
- First, remove the giblets. If you like giblets, you can leave them in or make a separate giblet gravy with them. We don’t like them, so I discarded them. You could also use them to make a homemade stock if you’d like!
- Give the cornish hens a little massage with olive oil. That helps them get that crispy beautiful brown skin. You’ll also season the outsides and insides with salt and pepper.
- Next up, stuff with oranges and onions and arrange the rest of the onions and oranges around the hens in the roasting pan you’re using (make sure to use one with high sides!).
- You start with a high temperature to get the cornish hens going and to caramelize the onions and the oranges. Then, you reduce the temperature and add the sherry, chicken broth, mustard to the pan to keep the hens moist and add terrific flavor during the remainder of the cooking time.
- Another good step to take is to remember to baste every 10-15 minutes to bath the hens in the great flavor of the broth and to keep them from drying out.
- Once the hens have finished cooking (I like to use an instant read thermometer), you’ll remove them from the pan and tent them with foil while you reduce the juices in the pan to make a nice sauce.
- All that’s left to do is to enjoy!
Used in this recipe:
- 2 cornish hens (about 2 pounds each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 orange, quartered
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 1/4 cup Sherry or Sherry Cooking Wine
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- If present, remove giblets from cornish hens.
- Rub outside of cornish hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season hens with salt and pepper on all sides. Place 1 orange wedge and 1 sprig of rosemary in cavity of each cornish hen. Arrange in a roasting pan, and arrange remaining orange wedges and quartered onions around hens. Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F as measured by an instant-read thermometer. I recommend ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together Sherry Wine, chicken broth, mustard, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and pour over hens.
- Continue roasting about 45 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180°F. Baste with juices from pan every 10 minutes.
- Transfer hens, oranges, and onions to a platter, pouring liquid from cavities into the roasting pan. Cover cornish hens loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices to a medium saucepan (you can also do this right in the roasting pan) and place over high heat. Boil until liquids reduce to a sauce, 5-7 minutes.
- To serve, cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce over hens and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 a cornish game hen
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 623 Total Fat: 44g Saturated Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Protein: 51g
Husband’s take: No complaints from the peanut gallery as he devoured these.
Changes I would make: None are necessary. If you wanted a sauce for these, you could remove them from the pan and cook down the pan juices into a sauce. Just put them over medium-high heat and cook until reduced and thickened. You’ll see those directions in step 6 of the printable recipe!
Disclaimer: This Cornish Game Hen Recipe was created in connection with my agreement as a partner with Holland House Cooking Wines. Holland House compensated me for the time required to create this recipe and share it with you. All opinions are always my own. Thank you for supporting my blog by reading about brands I use and love in my own home.