Cornish Game Hens are the perfect, company-worthy, show-stopper for any romantic dinner, special event, holiday, anniversary, birthday, or just when you’d like to spoil someone you love! SO easy, only FIVE ingredients, absolutely gorgeous, these Orange Teriyaki Cornish Game Hens are the quintessential dinner for 2 for Valentine’s day!
If you’ve never had, nor made, Cornish Game Hens, you’re in for a royal treat! Even if you have, you’re STILL in for a royal treat! These, hands down, are the BEST ones I’ve ever made! You’re not going to believe how juicy, tender, and flavorful they are!
SIMPLE to make, using only FIVE ingredients (six includes a side dish!), what’s not to fall in love with?
With extremely basic kitchen ingredients, this gorgeous dinner can be made with your eyes closed! Impressive enough for company and any special occasion you have this year! The perfect pandemic remedy when we can’t, or shouldn’t, dine out and made, safely, right in your very own kitchen!
I forgot to include the pepper in the photo, but did add the rice to show you everything you’ll need for this entire dinner. See? I told you it was simple! But by the flavor and the looks, your guests and loved ones will never be the wiser!
Here’s a closer pic of the Teriyaki sauce that I happened to use, and it was REALLY good! You can, of course, use your own favorite, or make your own from scratch if you want.
Most Cornish Hens can either be purchased separately, or come in a package of two. They’re almost always frozen, so I just place them in a sinkful of cold water with a bit of ice, and they thaw very quickly. So, either do this in the morning, or the day before, to make sure they’re fully thawed. (*Refrigerate after thawing, of course.)
I then just sprinkle them inside and out with coarse ground black pepper, NO SALT!, and stuff the cavities with wedges of a sweet and juicy, navel orange. Peel and all!
While placing them onto a sprayed rack placed over a foil-lined baking sheet, I tuck the wings underneath so that they don’t get overdone and the wing tips don’t burn.
Tying the legs with cotton string is up to you, but I think they look so much nicer when you do. Always remember, we eat with our eyes first, and we want these guys to look their very best!
Next, just baste them with melted butter, dabbing on so as not to disturb the pepper….
…and pop them into the oven to bake. You’ll want to bake these for one hour, basting with more butter every 15 minutes.
They won’t be quite done, but just about there at this time.
Then remove them from the oven and baste them well with lots of teriyaki sauce and bake them about 7 more minutes.
Remove them again, baste again, and bake again until they’re all the way done, only about another 7 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reaches 165º F.
And since they bake for a total of about one hour and 14 – 15 minutes, there’s plenty of time to make the rice!
We were also to have an easy asparagus dish with it that I make, but the fresh asparagus at our store looked HORRIFIC. So we simply went with side salads. But this Orange Cream Asparagus would’ve gone nicely with it if you’d like to make this, too. It’s VERY easy to make also!
Just remember, (along with the fresh asparagus), don’t forget to grab a second orange!
That cream sauce is just simple fridge and pantry items, and is an easy, make-ahead, *no-cook sauce that also goes very well over pea pods and sweet baby peas as well, if asparagus doesn’t happen to be your thing.
So, if you’re looking for an easy yet impressive, inexpensive, eye popping dish to make for Valentine’s Day, or any upcoming special event, you simply must try my Orange Teriyaki Cornish Game Hens!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Stay safe, wear those masks, keep a safe distance, and have a fabulous weekend all!
Orange Teriyaki Cornish Game Hens
I pkg. of 2 Cornish Game Hens, thawed
coarse ground black pepper
1 navel orange
6 Tbl. butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce Original Takumi Collection, or as much as you want
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Thaw Cornish Game Hens. When completely thawed, remove from package and rinse with cold water if needed. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season inside and out with coarse ground black pepper. DO NOT add salt, as teriyaki sauce is plenty salty! Slice orange into thick wedges and stuff into hen cavity.
Tuck wings underneath, and tie legs closed if desired. Place onto sprayed rack placed over a foil-lined baking sheet. Baste well, dabbing so as not to disturb the pepper, with some of the melted butter. Place into oven and bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes using all of the butter.
Remove from oven and baste well with lots of teriyaki sauce, pop back into oven and bake 7 more minutes. Remove, baste again well using all of the sauce (and more if needed), and pop back into oven for 5- 7 minutes more until done. (*Thickest part of meat should be 165º F.) Let rest 5 minutes, cut string if legs are tied, and serve with wild rice, and a green vegetable or salad if desired.