You’ll soon realize that these Roasted Cornish Hens will become your new favorite dish for romantic date evenings or impressing dinner party attendees. Straightforward and beautiful in design, they come out flawlessly every time you follow my simple step-by-step instructions.
I can never resist the urge to purchase a few Cornish hens when I see them in such great quality. They’re just as simple to roast like a chicken, but the preparation and presentation are much quicker. All you have to do is cut them in half and you’ll have two servings ready to go without having to deal with any messy slicing.
These chickens are quite simple to personalize, and you may change up the spice to suit your tastes. After all these years of roasting chickens and Cornish hens, I believe I’ve perfected this seasoning to the point that it is now my absolute favorite. It’s fresh, herby, citrusy with the orange marmalade, laid over fresh herbs, and a smoky touch.
FOR THE ORANGE MARMALADE GLAZE I USED TWO SIMPLE INGREDIENTS:
- ½ Cup.Of orange marmalade.
- 2 Tbsp.Of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
AND TO SEASON THE CORNISH HENS, I USED:
- Cornish hens, I used 4, 1 ½ lbs. each.
- Sea salt.
- Fresh black pepper, cracked.
- 2 Tsp.Of Italian seasoning.
- Flat-leaf parsley.
- 16 sprigs.Of fresh thyme.
- 4 sprigs.Of fresh rosemary.
- 2 medium lemons, slice them into 8 thin slices.
- 2 small oranges, slice them into 8 thin slices.
- Step 1 – In a small saucepan placed over medium-low heat, combine the orange marmalade and orange juice and stir to combine; after the mixture comes to a boil, drop the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until somewhat reduced, stirring regularly.
- Step 2 – After the mixture has been reduced, drain it into a small dish and set it aside to chill for 20-25 minutes (it will also thicken somewhat) before using it to glaze the chickens.
- Step 3 – To prepare the Cornish hens, start heating the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with foil before placing a wire rack on top.
- Step 4 – Season the Cornish birds by generously putting salt inside and outside the cavities (approximately 1 tablespoon total), then seasoning with freshly cracked black pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Step 5 – To make your herb bouquets, divide the flat-leaf parsley into four equal pieces. To the parsley, add roughly four sprigs of fresh thyme and one sprig of fresh rosemary. Finally, tie the herb bouquets together with some string (I used basic sewing thread).
- Step 6 – After that, shove one herb bouquet inside each hen’s cavity, as well as two slices of lemon and two slices of orange.
- Step 7 – And now, brush some of the orange marmalade glazes all over each hen and set into the oven to roast on the lower-middle rack (I decided not to truss my chickens, but you may if you want).
- Step 8 – After approximately 20 minutes, brush the birds with additional glaze and continue to roast; after another 20 minutes, brush the hens with more glaze and continue to roast for another 30 minutes, just until the internal temperature reaches 165° and the juices flow clear.
- Step 9 – Remove the hens from the oven and let them rest for approximately 10 minutes before serving. If desired, serve the hens with extra slices of fresh lemon for garnish.