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Orange Ginger Cornish Hens

Easy to make Cornish hens and the gravy is to die for!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Marinate1 d 6 hrs
Course: Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Asian chicken recipe, cornish hen recipe, ginger chicken, orange chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 543kcal


  • 3 Cornish game hens
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 rounded tbs cornstarch
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 3 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs chopped sage plus extra leaves to garnish
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs coarsely grated fresh ginger


  • First cut the backbone out of each Cornish hen. Place the birds, breast-side down, on a chopping board and, using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or shears, cut along either side of the bone to remove completely. Turn over and flatten the hens by pressing down with your hand over the breast bone.
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients and place in a large, resealable freezer bag with the hens. Seal the bag and leave to marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours.
  • When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200C).
  • Take the birds out of the bag, reserving the marinade to make the sauce. Arrange them, breast-side up, in a large roasting tin and drizzle over the honey.
  • Place in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes. Measure the cornstarch into a small bowl, add the marinade and mix until smooth. Pour the marinade over the hens and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cut each bird in half along the breast bone. Strain the juices left in the tin to make a sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve half a hen per person, with some of the sauce spooned over.


May also be made with regular but small chicken parts. Large parts require a longer cooking time (around 50 minutes)
Adapted from Mary Berry.


Serving: 1half hen | Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 686mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2.3mg