Braised Apricot-Orange Cornish Game Hens


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Braised Apricot-Orange Cornish Game Hens

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    If you don't want to wait days to thaw your turkey or chicken, this recipe is for you! Cornish hens thaw quickly because they're much smaller. 

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    Servings and Ingredients

    Serves 4
    2 (40-oz. each) frozen Cornish game hens, (4 total), thawed
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1 tsp. Hy-Vee cracked black pepper, plus additional for garnish
    1 tbsp. Hy-Vee salted butter
    1 shallot, thinly sliced
    1 c. Hy-Vee apricot preserves
    ¼ c. Culinary Tours smoked porter coarse-ground mustard
    ¼ c. yuzu ponzu sauce
    1 ½ tbsp. Cara Cara orange zest
    ¼ c. fresh Cara Cara orange juice
    4 slice(s) fresh Cara Cara oranges
    1 c. Hy-Vee dried apricots
    1 c. pitted Greek Kalamata olives, drained
    2 bulbs garlic, halved crosswise
    4 small fresh oregano sprigs, plus additional for garnish
    1 ½ c. dry white wine

    Things To Grab

    • Large rimmed baking pan
    • Aluminum foil
    • Wire rack
    • Hy-Vee nonstick cooking spray
    • Paper towels
    • Meat thermometer
    • Small saucepan


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil. Place a wire rack in the pan and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

    2. Remove and discard neck and giblets from Cornish hens. Pat outsides and cavities dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and 1 teaspoon pepper evenly on outside skin. Place, breast sides up, on prepared wire rack in pan; set aside.

    3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallot for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in preserves, mustard, yuzu ponzu sauce and orange zest and juice. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Brush hens with glaze; place 1 orange slice on top of each.

    4. Arrange apricots, Greek olives, garlic bulb halves, and 4 oregano sprigs around hens. Add white wine to baking pan under the wire rack.

    5. Roast 55 to 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in the breasts, brushing with glaze every 20 minutes. Transfer Cornish hens on wire rack to a large cutting board; discard oregano. Loosely cover with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    6. For sauce, strain cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

    7. To serve, arrange hens, apricots, olives, and garlic bulb halves on a serving platter. Garnish with additional cracked black pepper and fresh oregano sprigs. Serve with sauce.

    Nutrition facts


    730 Calories per serving

    Amounts Per Serving

    • Total Fat: 24g
    • Cholesterol: 130mg
    • Sodium: 2320mg
    • Total Carbohydrates: 85g
    • Protein: 30g

    Daily Values

    Iron 15%
    Calcium 6%
    Vitamin D 0%
    Potassium 20%