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Citrus-Baked Cornish Hens

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours


4 servings

The mustard in this dish surprises people. Combined with the citrus, it provides a real double "zing". You can also vary the ingredients, if you like. As an example, I've found the hens are tasty with orange marmalade. My husband's a grade school principal, and we have a 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son—resulting in a lot of schedules to juggle in our house. Sometimes, I'll cut the hens in half and have supper ready in 45 minutes.


  • 4 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • Juice and grated peel of 1 orange


  1. Tie legs of hens together; turn wing tips under backs. In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Simmer 5 minutes. Spoon half of the sauce over hens.
  2. Place hens breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Bake at 350° for about 1-1/4 hours or until meat juices run clear. Brush hens occasionally with remaining sauce.

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