Roasted Game Hens with Lemon-and-Orange-Marmalade Sauce
Tender, juicy game hens make an inviting dish for your guests, and they’re ready in about an hour. The sweet and tangy sauce in this recipe is used for both rubbing the flesh of the hens and basting the skin during roasting.
This recipe contains butter (unsalted), marmalade (orange), lemons, lemons, honey, olive oil, salt (sea), black pepper, cornish hens
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 50 min
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp. orange marmalade
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp grated peel
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 whole game hens (giblets removed), rinsed and patted dry
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the marmalade. Continue to stir until the marmalade is partially melted, about 2 minutes.
- 3. Add the lemon peel, lemon juice, and honey and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- 4. Using kitchen shears, remove any excess skin and the wing tips from the hens.
- 5. Lay the hens breast-side down on a work surface and cut along each side of the backbones to remove them. Cut through the center of the breastbones to divide each hen in half. Loosen the skin on all halves and place side by side in a large, shallow roasting pan lined with parchment paper (or nonstick foil).
- 6. Reserve half of the lemon-and-orange-marmalade sauce in a small bowl. Gently lift the skin from the hens and rub with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper and roast until juicy and just cooked through, 50-55 minutes.
- 7. About 5 minutes before the hens are finished, baste with the reserved sauce. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.