Roast Peppered Cornish Hens


This was probably the best Cornish Game Hen recipe we’ve done, which is no knock on these little birds, but rather a commentary on our skills.  This particular recipe was simple, but very flavorful.  The combination of the red currant jelly and the brown mustard made for a rich and complex flavor, with a welcome complement in the underlying layer of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  We enjoyed this with steamed green beans and a rice pilaf, and it was perfect for a wintery Friday evening.  We weren’t completely sure what wine was going to be right for this dish, but we decided on a light, crisp Hogue Riesling, and we were very pleased.


  • 3  (1 1/4-pound) Cornish hens, trimmed and skinned
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  cup  spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4  cup  currant jelly
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Split hens in half lengthwise. Place hen halves, breast sides up, in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray.

3. Combine mustard and jelly. Brush mustard mixture over hens; sprinkle evenly with pepper and salt. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thighs registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 1/2 hen)


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