Calypso Cornish hens

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15 min


6 servings

* PLUS Marinating Time: 120 minutes, Roasting Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup tequila , or rum
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp hot chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 small Cornish hens , or 3 large Rock Cornish hens


  • Finely grate peel from limes and place in a large measuring cup. Squeeze about 1/3 cup (75 mL) juice from limes. Add along with all remaining ingredients, except hens. Stir to mix.
  • Remove any giblets from body cavities of hens and discard. If hens are large, use kitchen shears to cut along sides of backbone and remove so they will lay flat in marinade Rinse inside and out with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. To quickly marinate hens, it’s best to place them in large resealable plastic bags. Depending on size of hens, you may be able to fit only one or two in a bag. Whisk marinade together and pour over hens, dividing among bags, if necessary. Seal bags and place in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to roast, preheat oven to 350F (180C). Place a large rack in a baking pan with shallow sides. Remove hens from marinade and place on rack. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Spoon a few tablespoons of marinade over each hen. Watch carefully and if they become too brown, lightly cover with foil. Continue roasting for 30 to 35 more minutes, depending on size of hens, until legs move easily and skins are beautifully browned.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 526,
  • Protein
  • 42.3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 2.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 36.8 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 223 mg.

This recipe is simplicity itself, yet sophisticated at the same time. Small Cornish hens are given big Caribbean flavour from a fast marinade made with the base of my favourite summer drinks.