Roasted Apricot Ginger Glazed Game Hens

This recipe for Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Apricot Ginger Glaze is holiday-worthy and nice for entertaining too!

roasted apricot ginger glazed game hens on a platter with veggies

We like to have friends over for dinner once in a while, and it kind of gets boring to grill steak and make a salad (what we usually do). So when it’s not good weather for grilling, I like to take the time to make these roasted apricot ginger glazed game hens for my guests. They’re always well received and appreciated! If you like these then you’ll most likely enjoy my Cranberry Stuffed Cornish Hens too!

ingredients displayed for making roasted apricot ginger glazed game hens

🛒 Ingredients Needed:

  • Cornish game hens
  • toasted sesame oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh ginger
  • garlic
  • apricot jam
  • honey
  • soy sauce
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cornstarch
four photos showing how to split game hens, roast and glaze them

✏️ How to Make Roasted Apricot Ginger Glazed Game Hens:

*The complete, printable recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post.

PREPARE THE HENS:

  1. Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. With a sharp knife or poultry shears, remove the backbones from the hens and slice through the breastbone, cutting the hens in half.
  3. Brush the skin of the hens with 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil and set them, skin-side-up, on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the skin with ½ teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.Roast until the hens are almost cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should register 165°F), about 25 minutes.

PREPARE THE SAUCE:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the preserves/jam, honey, soy sauce, and lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 teaspoon of water, add to the saucepan, and cook until the mixture thickens, another 1 minute.
  2. Brush the hens with the apricot ginger glaze and continue to roast until the glaze has browned in spots and the thermometer registers 170°F. in the thigh, another 5 to 7 minutes.
roasted apricot ginger glazed game hens on a baking sheet

Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

➡️ Tips and Substitutions:

  • If you are buying frozen Cornish Game Hens, plan ahead and make sure they have defrosted completely before you begin the recipe.
  • I prefer to use jam over preserves because it’s not as chunky.
  • Peach jam may be used in place of apricot.
  • I like to set aside some of the glaze to brush on right before serving.
spooning glaze onto game hen

✔️ Supplies that are helpful to have when making this recipe:

game hens on a platter with vegetables

❤️ What I Love About This Recipe:

  1. I love that this recipe can be made gluten-free (making sure that jam and soy sauce brands are GF).
  2. This is a restaurant quality recipe!
  3. I have used this same recipe using chicken drumsticks, and it’s just as delicious!
serving of game hen on a plate with vegetables

Best Cornish Game Hen Recipes:

roasted apricot ginger glazed game hens on a platter with veggies

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Roasted Apricot Ginger Glazed Game Hens

These roasted hens are topped with a sweetly, delicious apricot ginger glaze.

Recipe Details

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: apricot, cornish game hens, ginger

Servings: 4 servings (½ hen each)

Calories: 805kcal

Author: RecipeGirl.com (from Fine Cooking)

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Ingredients

HENS:

  • Two 1½-pound Cornish game hens
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE:

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

PREPARE THE HENS:

  1. Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

  2. With a sharp knife or poultry shears, remove the backbones from the hens and slice through the breastbone, cutting the hens in half.

  3. Brush the skin of the hens with 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil and set them, skin-side-up, on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the skin with ½ teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.

  4. Roast until the hens are almost cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should register 165°F), about 25 minutes.

PREPARE THE SAUCE:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the preserves/jam, honey, soy sauce, and lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 teaspoon of water, add to the saucepan, and cook until the mixture thickens, another 1 minute.

  2. Brush the hens with the apricot ginger glaze and continue to roast until the glaze has browned in spots and the thermometer registers 170°F. in the thigh, another 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you are preparing this recipe as GLUTEN-FREE, just be sure to use brands of apricot jam and soy sauce that are known to be GF.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 805kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 59g, Fat: 52g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Monounsaturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 344mg, Sodium: 678mg, Potassium: 847mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 428IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 3mg

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