Roasted Orange-Herb Game Hens

Total Time
50 min
6 min
44 min
A dried-herb blend goes beautifully with citrus (in this case, orange) and poultry.


uncooked shallot(s)

cup(s), minced

herbes de Provence

1 Tbsp, or dried fines herbs

orange zest

2 tsp

table salt

¼ tsp

black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

uncooked skinless cornish game hen

3 pound(s), 2 (1 1/2 pounds) halved

reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup(s)

fresh orange juice

¾ cup(s)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the shallots, fines herbes, orange zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture to another small bowl; set aside.
  2. Gently loosen the skin from the breast meat of each hen half. Rub the 1 tablespoon herb mixture into the meat, under the skin, of each of the hen halves.
  3. Place the hens in a roasting pan and roast 10 minutes. Add the broth. Roast, basting the hens twice with the broth, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 180°F, about 30 minutes longer.
  4. Transfer the hens to a platter; cover loosely with foil and keep warm. Place the roasting pan directly on top of two burners over high heat. Add the orange juice and the remaining herb mixture; bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 4 minutes. Serve the hens with the sauce. Remove the skins from the hens before eating. Yields 1⁄2 Cornish game hen with 1⁄4 cup sauce per serving.


If you feel like splurging on ingredients, use an assortment of chopped fresh herbs (you’ll need about 1⁄3 cup for this recipe) instead of the fines herbs.If shallots are not available in your market, substitute 1⁄3 cup minced onion and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.

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