Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens

With their petite stature, cornish hen's are a fun addition to the Thanksgiving table.  Particularly loved by children, these small chickens are small enough to cook in a convection toaster oven and perfectly adorn the kids' corner table!  Our Cranberry-glazed Cornish Hens boast quick assembly and a mouth-watering flavor that are almost as exciting as the easy clean-up!  Use your favorite cranberry sauce or whip up a batch of our Dressed-Up Cranberry Sauce to turn these hens into a masterpiece.

Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens
1 recipe Dressed-Up Cranberry Sauce
4 cornish hens
1 orange, quartered
1T rice flour
1 large browning bag
garlic powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Open a browning bag and  put 1 T rice flour in the bag.
  3. Place the browning bag in the bottom of a roasting pan.
  4. Wash your cornish hens and lay them, breast up, in your browning bag.  Leave space between the hens so that they are not touching during cooking.
  5. Place one or two orange quarters in the cavity of each hen and throw a few around the bottom for added flavor.
  6. Sprinkle each bird with salt and garlic powder.
  7. Spread Dressed-Up Cranberry Sauce on the tops, wings and legs of the cornish hens. 
  8. Insert the probe of a cooking thermometer into the dark meat of one hen.  Be sure that your probe is remote or has a long high-heat wire.
  9. Seal the browning bag with its tie and cut a small hole in the top of the bag for ventilation.
  10. Roast the hens at 350 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F, approximately 1hour 15 minutes (or until juices run clear).  NOTE:  If you decide to try this in your toaster oven, check your manual for cooking times.  You may want to split the hen and place them cut-side down in the cooking pan to ensure the hen gets cooked through.  I would also recommend cooking the hens without the browning bag to allow for good air circulation.
  11. Remove from oven and, using kitchen shears, carefully cut down the center of the bag to open.  Rest the hens in place for 10 minutes, allowing the internal temperature to rise to 180, before serving.

For a stunning presentation:
  1. Remove the orange wedges from the inside of the hens and discard. 
  2. Scoop wild rice onto the bottom of a platter or individual plates. 
  3. Place whole or halved birds (cut side down) on top of the rice. 
  4. Drizzle each bird with the juice from one orange wedge. 
  5. Drizzle a little warm cranberry sauce over each bird.
  6. Place oranges on the platter with the birds and serve alongside a bowl (or scoop) of cranberry sauce.

NOTE:  I always can a little bit of my cranberry sauce each year.  You never know when you will want some in the off season.  And, in the event that you have any left when November rolls back around, you will already have homemade cranberry sauce without lifting a finger!

What a party!  Take a look at all the great recipes at Food Network's The Communal Table.
Which one will you be trying next?

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Sweet Life Bake: Pumpkin Margarita
Easy Peasy Organic: Thanksgiving Ginger Cocktail
Dishin and Dishes: Butternut Squash Bruschetta With Sage Pesto
Mooshu Jenne: Green Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Salad
Jones is Hungry: Roasted Vegetable Salad
Purple Cook: Pasta and Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
From My Corner of Saratoga: Curried Pumpkin Soup

CIA Dropout: Turkey and Stuffles Roulades With Squash Mash
FN Dish: Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey

My Angel's Allergies: Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens

Cafe Terra Blog: Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Cheddar and Chive Potatoes
Easy Eats Magazine: Sausage and Dried Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing
The Sensitive Epicure: Oyster Dressing and Gravy
Daily*Dishin: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Supreme
What's Gaby Cooking: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing
Family Fresh Cooking: Coconut Brown-Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silvana's Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mushroom-Rye Stuffing
The Cultural Dish: Cranberry Sauce

I Am Baker: Pumpkin Cake
Heather Christo: Pumpkin Vanilla Ice Cream Pie
And Love It Too: Pumpkin Custard (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Double Pumpkin Mini Pies With Candied Pecans
Ladles and Jelly Spoons: Not Your Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Daydreamer Desserts: Cuban Diplomatic Pudding
Thursday Night Dinner: Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Caramel Apple Pie


  1. Fun to be in this Thanksgiving feast with you! Your recipe looks amazing. Please update the link to my mashed sweet potatoes recipe, it is incorrect: http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/11/16/brown-butter-coconut-mashed-sweet-potatoes-recipe/

  2. I love the mix of flavors with the cornish hens! I am such a fan of cranberries, so love finding new ways to enjoy the delicious fruit! It was fun cooking with you at the Communal Table with Food Network! Take care, Terra

  3. Love this recipe! My girls love cranberries...and I bet they'd love their own Cornish hen too.

    Glad we were at Food Network's Communal Table together!

    Best regards, Scott
    (Facebook: Jones Is Hungry; Twitter: @JonesIsHungry)