Mogambo! (Baked Chicken)

Total Time
Prep 1 hr
Cook 6 hrs

This is an elegant cornish game hen dish for two people. Mogambo is savory soul food. You won't find the recipe posted anywhere else on the planet because I am the inventor of this dish which is the end product of three years of meticulous trial and error and subsequent tweaking to achieve just the right balance of flavors. Where does the name come from? It's the name of my favorite classic movie, starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly (color, 1953). And it is also an acronym for MOLASSES (MO), GAME HEN (GAM), and, BOUILLON (BO). Mogambo! The dish takes a little time and effort but the result is well-worth it.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the hens and place in a large non-metallic bowl. You can also trim away any excess skin/fat that you wish but leave skin on the breast and legs.
  2. Mix the marinade with a blender, (I use a kitchen aide on setting number 2), including the following ingredients: molasses, boullion, chicken broth, vinegar, olive oil, water, triple sec, lemon juice, italian spices, garlic clove and pimentos with juice. Allow the mix to blend for 20 minutes. If a film forms on top, don't worry about it -- this is normal.
  3. Pour the marinade over the hens and cover with cling wrap. Allow the hens to marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  4. At the end of marinatiting time, place the hens, breast up, into a dutch oven or large oven-proof casserole dish. Pour the marinade over the hens (it should come about halfway up on the hens, depending on your cooking dish -- discard any extra marinade) and toss in a bay leaf. Finally, sprinkle the Old Bay seasoning on top of the hens.
  5. Place the covered dutch oven or casserole dish in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 1 hour.
  6. At the end of an hour, lightly rub the breasts and legs with the butter and re-cover. Allow the hens to bake another 45 minutes at the same temperature.
  7. Discard the bay leaf and serve hot with either egg noodles or plain rice. Garnish with parsley sprigs and orange slices.
  8. NOTE: You could use a regular roasting chicken for this recipe -- just add 15 minutes to the baking time.
  9. Also, you can substitute honey for the sorghum molasses if you wish and, either Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic or regular poultry seasoning can be substituted for the Old Bay seasoning. There are recipes for italian spices on Recipe*Zaar if you can't find them at the store.


Most Helpful

The marinade on this recipe is fantastic. This smelled like something I wanted to eat long before it was cooked. I used the honey option, and homemade chicken stock instead of the canned and bouillon, but I think I still got the floavor you were intending. We found that the breast meat was a little dry, and that the skin was a little less browned than we prefer, but the flavor was outstanding. I will definately make it again, but with a few changes for my family. I'm looking forward to having the leftovers tonight for my dinner. Yum!

IngridH April 06, 2008

Bone Man, you are the hero of our house tonight. It was DH's birthday and I wanted to do something special and different with the two Cornish Hens I bought. Well, this recipe sure is. Succulent, melt-in-your mouth, and the combination of the marinade hit a home run. The only thing I did differently from your recipe is I used more garlic (3 cloves), and I used my blender stick, so everything was pureed. After the hens were done, I thickened the cooking sauce/marinade and served it as dipping sauce on the side. YUM! I also made your Two-Corn Casserole #183439 to go with, and it was a huge hit! I must make a note to try more of your recipes. Thanks for a great meal, and you made the birthday boy a happy guy.

TxGriffLover October 13, 2006

I cooked this last nite and my family was very pleased !! My eight year old son told me to cook this at least once a week... The hen was so moist and tender and was not overpowerd with the seasoning..Thanks for a great recipe...Rene in S.C.

wart July 26, 2006

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