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Orange Rosemary Cornish Hens

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These Orange Rosemary Cornish Hens will make the perfect Valentine's Day dinner. They are perfect for a romantic budget-friendly dinner for two.

Every year, I try to plan the perfect romantic dinner for two from home. I have so many great ideas, but this year, I decided to treat my husband to a delicious dinner of Rosemary Orange Cornish Hens and a side of Parmesan Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.

My husband and I are very budget-conscious these days. We are trying really hard to get out of debt this year, so every penny counts when it comes to budgeting. But there are special times, like Valentine's Day when I like to kick things up a notch and make a fancier meal.

For this dish, I decided to steer clear of steak since that would have cost me around $50 for 2 really good steaks.

While I was recently doing my grocery shopping, and browsing the frozen meat section, I spied the Cornish Game Hens — and coming in at $3 per bird, I knew this was going to be the perfect budget-friendly meal to feed my man for Valentine's Day.

What bumps this meal up and elevates it to a fancy dinner meal is the taste of fresh rosemary and orange slices. I basically spent around $15 for this meal.

How to Make Orange Rosemary Cornish Hens

Rinse and clean the birds and pat them dry. Drizzle on some olive oil and then sprinkle the hens with salt and pepper.

Then, quarter oranges. Stuff each bird cavity with 1 orange quarter and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Place in a 9×13 roasting pan and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

(I fixed a bird for each member of the family! After they got home from their planned activities they can taste this delicious meal I made!)

Take the remaining orange quarters along with one sliced onion and place around the entire outside edge of the pan. Roast in the oven for 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

While your birds are in the oven roasting, slice your potatoes in half. Toss with 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary and 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on a pan and roast for about 25- 30 minutes.

After 25 minutes, take the birds out of the oven. Mix together chicken broth and Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pour over the hens.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 45 minutes. or until the hens are golden brown. If the hens do not get as brown as you like, remove them from the pan at the end. Place on a cookie sheet. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes until you get that gorgeous golden brown color.

Take the pan drippings and place in a saucepan. Boil until the liquid reduces to a sauce, about 5-7 minutes. Then drizzle that over the hens.

Serve alongside the Parmesan Roasted potatoes for the perfect Valentine meal. 

Yield: 4 birds

Orange Rosemary Cornish Hens

Orange Rosemary Cornish Hens

This delicious poultry dish will make a great Valentine's dinner for two.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 2 cornish hens, about 2 pounds each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hens have giblets in the cavity, remove them from cornish hens.
  2. Drizzle cornish hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season hens with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Place 1 orange wedge and 1 sprig of rosemary in cavity of each cornish hen. Arrange in a 9x13 dish, and arrange remaining orange wedges and quartered onions around hens. Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together chicken broth, mustard, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and pour over hens.
  5. Continue roasting about 45 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Baste with juices from pan every 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer hens, oranges, and onions to a platter, pouring liquid from cavities into the roasting pan.
  8. Transfer pan juices to a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Boil until liquids reduce to a sauce, 5-7 minutes.
  9. Arrange hens on plate with Parmesan Roasted potatoes and then spoon the sauce over hens and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 41gCholesterol: 338mgSodium: 961mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 14gProtein: 60g

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Wednesday 31st of January 2018

Roasted chicken/hen is the best dinner for me! I love the touch of orange! So festive!

Cyn Gagen

Tuesday 30th of January 2018

I love a good Cornish hen. This sounds so yummy! Perfect for Valentine's Day.


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

While I don't eat meat, this looks like a great recipe! Thanks for sharing.


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

Oh my, these Cornish hens look super yummy! I would love to try them for myself!!


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

Our wedding anniversary is the same week as Valentine's Day so we don't often go out. But a sweet card and a fabulous meal sounds like the perfect way to celebrate.

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