Orange-glazed Cornish hens are elegant but unbelievably easy. Stuff with your favorite rice, bread, fruit, or cornbread stuffing, if you wish. The simple marmalade glaze also works well with whole roasted hens, balancing the savoriness of the meat with the sweet tartness of oranges. You can even stuff the empty orange peels for a nice side dish.
- 4 Cornish game hens (thawed in the refrigerator if previously frozen)
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade (low-sugar varieties are fine)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Optional: 1 tablespoon gravy enhancer (such as Gravy Master or Bovril)
- Optional: 1 medium navel orange (quartered or stuffing of your choice)
If you are using a stuffing, prepare it ahead of time. It should be cooled before stuffing the birds.
Preheat oven to 375 F. A foil-lined baking pan makes for easier clean-up.
Massage the Gravy Master over the skin of the Cornish hens. (It enhances color but adds no calories or flavor.) Trim off wing tips or tuck them behind the back.
Melt orange marmalade, butter, and Worcestershire sauce in a micro-safe bowl in the microwave for about one minute. Stir until combined. You do not want it boiling hot. (Can be done stove-top, but do not overcook, only until melted to combine.)
If you are using a stuffing, stuff the Cornish hens and place in baking pan. Alternatively, place a wedge of orange into each cavity. Place breast-side up in the prepared pan. Baste half the glaze onto the skins of the Cornish hens.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with remaining glaze. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Test with an instant-read thermometer in center of stuffing or between thigh and breast not touching bone. It should read 180 degrees F.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.