Cornish Hens With Orange Sauce


1 can 8 oz. (227 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup (60 mL) water

5 medium garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp. (30 mL) fresh chopped ginger

Seasoning salt (your choice) and black pepper to taste

4 Cornish hens

4 oranges

  • Mix the orange juice, water, garlic and ginger.
  • Wash the hens and dry well.
  • Place the hens in an ovenproof shallow casserole.
  • Pour marinade over top and refrigerate.
  • Marinate for 6-7 hours, turning occasionally to coat well.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  • Sprinkle the hens with the salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the cavity with half of an orange.
  • Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 1 hour.
  • Place on a serving dish and remove the oranges.
  • Garnish with twisted orange slices.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Despite the name, Cornish hen is not a game bird, but actually a typical chicken that is slaughtered at a young age and therefore smaller in size. Though the bird is called a "hen," it can be either male or female.

Most sources credit Alphonsine and Jacques Makowsky of Connecticut for developing the small bird in the mid-1950s. A Saturday Evening Post article from July 1955 credited Mrs. Makowsky with coming up with the idea to breed the Cornish game chicken, a small bird with short legs and a plump, round breast that she had discovered in a book. The Makowskys began cross-breeding the Cornish game cocks with various chickens and game birds, including a White Plymouth Rock hen and a Malayan fighting cock, to develop the Rock Cornish game hen—a succulent bird with all-white meat suitable for a single serving.