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Cornish Game Hens with Sweet Cherry Sauce

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  • 3 (23 to 25 ounce) Cornish game hens, thawed
  • 1 (16-ounce) can dark sweet cherries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Orange peel curls, fresh marjoram and thyme, for garnish


  1. Prepare Cornish game hens according to package directions. Split each in half after cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cherry sauce. Drain the cherries, reserving juice. Add water to juice to make 1 cup liquid.
  3. Combine cherry liquid, honey, rum, orange peel, marjoram and thyme in a medium saucepan; mix well.
  4. Combine orange juice and cornstarch; mix until smooth.
  5. Add cornstarch mixture to honey mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thick.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in cherries. Spoon about 1/3 cup cherry sauce over each cooked game hen half.
  7. Garnish with orange peel curls and fresh marjoram and thyme, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Rice and steamed asparagus spears or Brussels sprouts make good accompaniments for this meal.

Recipe credit: National Cherry Growers Foundation