Juicy Cornish Game Hens

photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by pi 2862 photo by pi 2862
photo by Lusenda photo by Lusenda
photo by lamar.jordan photo by lamar.jordan
photo by AhTian N. photo by AhTian N.
Ready In:


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 Cornish hens, halved
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter and stir in honey and chili powder; mixing well.
  • Stir in orange juice, salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  • Cut each hen into two halves.
  • Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place hens in baking dish, skin side down, and place in oven for 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn hens over and baste generously with all of the mixture.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until well browned.

Questions & Replies

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  1. bmcclurd
    can you do this in a crock pot?
  2. cdyarbrough86
    I have these marinating right now but curious if I could grill them instead of baking in oven?
  3. mhemenway_3
    Is there a way to do this recipe without cutting the hen in half? I've never cooked a Cornish game hen before - is it better to cut it in half?
  4. mandiloushopping
    Do you really have to cut the hens in half?


  1. Bergy
    I hate this recipe because it is so good I ate the whole thing! I simply could not pass up on the wonderful glazed skin , I even had trouble leaving the bones! The hen was fall off the bones tender & moist The flavor was heaven;y. I cut the recipe in half doing only 1 hen for the two of us and it worked perfectly. The only change I made was to cook the hen for 25 minutes without the glaze and then basted the hen with the glaze and continued baking for a further 25 minutes. Chuck this is a winner Thanks for sharing
  2. pi 2862
    I made this recipe for my boyfriend tonight and he agreed that this is the BEST cornish game hen ever!!! I doubled the sauce recipe and basted the chicken every ten minutes. In addition, I seasoned the chicken liberally (garlic powder, salt, pepper, and rosemary). I could eat this all day long. I've also never taken the time to write a food review...so that tells you just how gosh darn good this chicken is!!
    • Review photo by pi 2862
  3. Beachinamylane
    I used real butter instead of the recommended margarine, and added a little orange marmalade and cinnamon. Awesome!!
  4. Kcsam2
    Delicious! I made it for Xmas dinner. I did change it slightly....I sprinkled the salt and pepper directly onto the hens and marinated it in the butter/paprika/orange juice/ honey sauce for 12 hours. Then I basted it with extra sauce I made on the side, in which I added basil and Rosemary, every 10 minutes when baking. easy and delicious!
  5. patti o.
    My family loved this. I didn't have any orange juice though so I used lemon juice, worked great. Made extra sauce for dipping. Thank you for sharing


  1. Joanna S.
    Alli can say the most easy and quick and delicious dish i have ever made I doubled recipe for sauce and added some brn sugar ,garlic powder .I would feel comfortable having a dinner party and using this recipe joanna from s.c.
  2. CierraScarborough91
    I wanted more sauce and only had 3 hens so I doubled the ingredients I just did it twice, but I recommend only adding 1 more to what it recommends so instead of 4 tblsp do 5 and so on, but my hens didn't fully cook as direced so I cooked them as it says but I turned my oven up to 400° and cooked the hens for an additional 10-12 min or until they were nice and brown.. Tip be careful when basting cause the sauce will come off your hen, and I recommend basting every 15-20 min while their cooking so they get nice and flavorful
  3. Melissa G.
    I didn't have chili pepper, but I used the cayenne pepper from my white chili kit. I also added this awesome red pepper jelly and an extra tbsp of fresh squeezed orange juice. I lined my pan with tin foil with enough to create a tent. I also peppered and salted the birds for the 8 min broil first open foil. Then I tented the foil for 10 min intervals with basting each time. For the last 15 mins, no tin foil to get the right browning glaze on the top. Cooked in convection with a meat thermometer and brought out slightly before done to finish cooking and rest properly so the breasts didn't dry. It was perfectly cooked. Next time I might open the foil earlier to get a darker glaze.
    • Review photo by Melissa G.
  4. Catherine
    I needed more sauce, so I increased the ingredients by a third. Butter=5.5 Tablespoons, Honey=4 Tablespoons, Chili powder=5.5 Tablespoons, Orange juice=1.3 Tablespoons. I basted from the saucepan, but wished to use the remaining sauce as a dip, so I added orange juice, probably around 3 Tablespoons and brought the sauce to a boil and then simmered it to kill bacteria.
  5. Camille C.
    I also used bottled lemon juice since I had no OJ, but boy, was this tasty!


I’m over the hill and heading down the back side at a rapid rate it seems, single, and retired now. My loves? Good friends, most of all. After that I guess it would be wildlife and photographing it. In fact, I love anything that deals with wild animals and the outdoors. Then comes playing with my dog and making a mess trying to cook in the kitchen or around the fire pit, grill or smoker while enjoying a good tumbler of whiskey (whisky).
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