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Oven Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry Demi-Glace Recipe

Cornish game hens can make any poultry dinner elegant, add a little citrus and fresh thyme, rosemary and garlic and enjoy the savory smells that will fill your kitchen.

Prep Time:  20 minutes | Cook Time:  1 hour | Serves: 6 – 8

Oven Roasted Cornish Game Hens


  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 orange quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon and 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 14 cloves of garlic, left whole and peeled
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish


1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Rinse and dry hens thoroughly.  Rub hens with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Squeeze lemon and orange quarters over hens then stuff 1 lemon quarter, 1 orange quarter, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 sprig of  rosemary into the cavity of each hen.  Place hens in a large baking dish.  Arrange garlic around hens  and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in 450°F oven for 20 minutes.

3.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together white wine, chicken broth, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

4.  After hens have roasted for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, reduce heat to 350 degrees, pour white wine, chicken broth, and olive oil mixture over hens and continue to cook for 40 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear.  Every 10 minutes baste with pan juices.

5.  Transfer hens to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.  When ready to serve, cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates.  Serve with Cranberry Demi-Glace, recipe below.

Cranberry Demi-Glace

  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 whole peppercorns
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup chicken broth

1.  Over medium heat, saute chopped shallots in butter and olive oil in a medium skillet until shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, peppercorns, cranberries, thyme and white wine.  Allow to reduce by half.  Let mixture cool for 5 minutes.

2.  Pour mixture into a blender along with 1/4 cup of chicken broth and puree.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Return liquid to skillet and add 3/4 cup chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of pulp from sieve.  Discard remaining pulp in strainer.  Reduce this mixture by a third.

3.  Serve in a gravy boat so guests can easily pour over their hen.

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