cornish hens with citrus glaze

Imageone of my favorite gardeners has to be p. allen smith, who often combines cooking with gardening. on his create television shows, he uses his garden to inspire his dishes, and often tours his garden, gathering herbs and vegetables taking them into his kitchen.

this recipe comes from one of his publications, and although it doesn’t concentrate on garden produce, it happens to be one of my favorites.  the citrus glaze is elegant and very tasty.  i prepared the glaze as he directed, but reduced the amount in half since i was not making the same quantity of hens as he prepared.  the recipe amounts that i give to you are those i used, but they can be increased depending on the number of guests you plan to entertain.  the cornish hens were elegant cut in half, with each person receiving half of a hen for their portion.  i served steamed brocolli and ramekin potatoes with this entree.  

to make the glaze for the hens:  combine 1 juiced and zested orange, with 1 juice and zested lime, 1/2 cup honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground pepper in a small bowl. cover and refrigerate until ready to use on the hens.

preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  place the hens in a roasting pan, and spray with olive oil.  roast them for 40 minutes, then glaze with the sauce.  return to the oven for 30 more minutes, and glaze with the sauce.  and then continue to bake for another 10 minutes until done.  i roasted two hens and this cooking time was very adequate.  temperature should register 165-180 degrees with a meat thermometer.




  1. How did you divide the cooked hens in half and have them remain presentable? Did you use kitchen shears or a cleaver or some other method? Also- Why is it necessary to refrigerate the glaze until ready for use?


    • a really sharp knife..otherwise you are correct, they lose their shape… they are much easier to cut than a chicken though. I make the glaze ahead of time, earlier in the day…and that is what Allen recommends…probably would not have to….


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