Prepared by: Chef Dawn
Classic roasted hens in a sweet and savory ginger glaze with a bit of heat added with cayenne.
Ginger-Orange Cornish Game Hens
Bring back the classic Cornish Game Hen with a zesty twist. Ginger, Orange and Cayenne combine to flavor these delightful mini versions of roast poultry. The pungent licorice flavor of the tarragon adds an intriguing dimension.
- Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet
- Cooking spray, foil or parchment paper (to line the roasting pan)
- Knife and cutting board
- Small mixing bowl (to make the glaze)
- instant-read thermometer
- Brush or spoon (to put glaze on the hens)
- Small saucepan
- Tongs (to transfer the cooked hens to a serving platter)
- 1 onion (cut into rounds, 1/2" thick)
- 1 large orange (zest - set aside, then cut into rounds, 1/2" thick)
- 2 Cornish Game Hens (about 1 1/2 lbs. each, cut in half, backbone removed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger (minced)
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons water (if needed)
- Orange zest
- Fresh sprig tarragon
- Fresh-cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Coat a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or foil, or parchment paper).
- Place the onion and orange rounds in the pan.
- Put the hens on top of the slices. Rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake the hens until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the breast registers 170°F, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the marmalade, ginger, tarragon and cayenne. Set aside.
- When the hens are cooked, remove from the oven and brush the hens with the marmalade mixture.
- Set the oven to broil and place the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Broil the hens until the glaze is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the hens to a serving platter or plates.
- Pour the remaining juices into a small saucepan. Use an orange slice as a spatula to scrape up any browned bits. Put all this into the saucepan, add water (if needed) and bring to a low simmer. Reduce to desired amount. Stir often.
- Pour the sauce over the hens and serve, garnish with orange zest, sprig of fresh tarragon and fresh-cracked black pepper.
Instead of the Hens, you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or chicken breast, roast 25-35 minutes. Instead of the dried tarragon, you can use 1 tsp fennel powder or 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice.