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Best Cornish Hen Recipes

Favorite ways to cook Cornish game hens


Cornish hens are becoming popular again, especially for dinner parties. The tiny birds make a stunning presentation at the table, and everyone gets their own. On the other hand, if you are serving a full-blown dinner with an appetizer or salad, two side dishes, bread, and dessert, I suggest using half of a Cornish hen as an entree serving. Since these are a breed of chicken, use your imagination to alter the recipes in any way that you would with a whole chicken. These are the best Cornish hen recipes as rated by family and friends. Most of them may be modified for use with whole chickens, adjusting the cooking time.

1. Honey Spiced Cornish Game Hens Recipe

Roasted cornish hen
Tatiana Fuentes/Vetta/Getty Images

With this recipe, you get a little bit of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar, honey, and wine reduction, plus a touch of spice from allspice and chili powder. It's a great combination that is hard to beat. Don't worry, they are not overly spicy. However, if your tastes tend toward fiery foods, feel free to adjust the spice amounts upward to suit your tastes.

2. Fruit Cornish Hens Recipe

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© 2011 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Apricots and prunes are the stars of this recipe. Since the fruits are dried, you can use this method year-round. The sweetness of the fruit is nicely offset by capers and red wine vinegar. You will need to plan ahead to marinate the Cornish hens for 8 hours or overnight. It goes together quickly and is worth a night of waiting.

3. Braised Cornish Hens Recipe

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© 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

A mixture of potatoes, apples, and turnips flavored with oregano, thyme, and rosemary make an interesting stuffing for Cornish game hens. The glaze used an apple liqueur to enhance the apple flavor. If you cannot use any type of liquor, check out the notes for substitutions. If you don't want to take the time to make the stuffing, you may simply stuff the cavities with apple wedges.

4. Orange Marmalade Cornish Hens Recipe

cornish hen recipes, orange marmalade, worcestershire sauce, poultry, receipts
© 2011 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This may well be the easiest Cornish hen recipe yet. A simple mixture of orange marmalade, butter, and Worcestershire sauce makes a fast and easy glaze. It's great on baked chicken as well. You may use your favorite stuffing or skip it altogether. Try experimenting with other fruit preserves to vary the flavor.

5. Spicy Cornish Hens Recipe

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© 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Many sauces begin with a tomato base. This baking sauce for Cornish hens is based on roasted sweet red bell peppers and gets a jolt of flavor from cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and rosemary. A touch of raspberry jam or jelly adds just enough sweetness to balance out the heat. It's not overly spicy-hot. The combination of the sweetness and the heat is a vital component, so don't cut back too much on the heat if you need to adjust.

6. Sauteed Cornish Hens with Olives Recipe

cornish hens recipe, olives, leeks, garlic, tomatoes, saffron, sauce, poultry, receipts
© 2011 John McShane, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Green olives are a tangy point in this Cornish hen recipe. Saffon adds color and flavor, but you may substitute the less expensive turmeric. The sauce is further flavored with tomatoes, garlic, leeks, and wine. Best of all, it is made on the stove-top, so no need to heat up the kitchen with the oven.

7. Cornish Hens with Cherry Sauce Recipe

cornish hen recipes, cherries, jelly, crock-pot, slow cooker, oven, stuffing, receipts
© 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Let the crockpot do the work cooking these Cornish hens. They are filled with a savory stuffing made with dried cherries and topped with a glaze of cherries, red currant jelly, and a hint of allspice. You may skip the stuffing, if you wish. If you do not have a slow cooker, oven-method intructions are also included.

8. Herb-Glazed Cornish Hens with Pasta Recipe

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© 2011 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cornish hens are split down the middle to bake. The sun-dried tomato and Parmesan cheese sauce does double-duty to flavor the poultry as well as a topper for the pasta. Whip up the sauce in a flash using your food processor or heavy-duty blender. I prefer to use thin vermicelli pasta, but feel free to substitute your favorite shape. Recipe is easily doubled.

9. Quick Fixes for Cornish Game Hens Recipe

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© 2011 Andreas Hadel, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Here are 7 quick fixes for Cornish hens. The sauces can each be made in under 10 minutes. Choose from apricot glaze, Mexican spiced, lemon and basil, mustard herb, garlic herb, citrus, and Asian.

10. All About Cornish Game Hens

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© 2006 Peggy Trowbridge, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Before you try your hand at cooking Cornish hens, learn their history, how to select and store them, and get cooking tips. They are elegant on the table and yummy in the tummy! Don't forget that the recipes may be modified to be used with traditional chicken.

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