Fresh Raspberry Pan Sauce over Roasted Cornish Hens

When I was little I couldn’t wait for the  summer sun to ripen all the bright red raspberries in our garden.  

I’d spend hours milling about the sweet smelling berry bushes eating the sun warmed berries, when really I was supposed to be picking them for my Mom to bake a cobbler.   It was always a happy day at our house when Mom made her famous rasbperry cobbler.  And if for some reason I didn’t collect enough of those delicious little red berries, Mom would add in other fruits from our garden creating what I called “every fruit in our garden cobbler”  It was divine. 

Raspberries are still one of my favorite berries.  They jazz up a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top flourless chocolate cake with beautiful color and sweetness, add festive flair and fresh taste to cereal or oatmeal, or simply delicious as a quick sweet melt in your mouth snack. 


Another favorite way to enjoy berries is in a sauce over poultry or pork.  Raspberry pan sauces deliciously compliment the distinct flavors of roast pork or Cornish hens.  If Cornish hens aren’t your favorite, this delightful sauce would compliment split chicken breasts, pan seared chicken breasts or thighs, or a whole roasted chicken.  You’ll often find raspberry sauce served with pan seared or roasted duck.  The rich flavors of the duck beautifully compliments the fresh flavors of the raspberries. 

For the best flavor, I highly recommend free range and naturally or organic raised poultry.  Not only is it a much healthier option, but it tastes so much better and the texture is more palatable. 

This is definitely a dish that is dressed to impress.  A new favorite in the Bennett house, it’s so beautiful and delicious I could lick my plate!

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 4 – 6


4-6 Cornish Hens (substitute with split chicken breasts or one whole chicken)

6-8 cloves of garlic, slivered

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

1 ½ teaspoons raspberry vinegar

1 ½ pints fresh organic raspberries (or more, however I always end up eating the other half pint while cooking)

Dash of port or red wine, I like to add about ¼ cup (optional)

Grated fresh ginger, about 1 teaspoon (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Place the four Cornish hens in a large baking dish.

Season the cavity of each hen with salt and pepper.  Divide the garlic slivers and place in the cavity of each hen. 

Rub each hen with a little butter and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place the baking dish in the oven. 

The hens will need to cook for about 45 minutes, but the best way to test doneness is with a meat thermometer.  When the thermometer reads 160F around the leg joint area the chicken will be done.  Remove from the oven and let the hens sit for about 5 minutes.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.  When the butter is melted and frothy add the shallots and sauté until nicely wilted, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the raspberry preserves, whisking until the preserves have melted and combined with the butter and shallots. 

Whisk in the vinegar, and then add 1 pint of fresh raspberries. At this point, feel free to add the wine and ginger if using.  I love a dash of port in this sauce!

Let the sauce come to a lively simmer and then take it off the heat. 

Place each hen on a plate.  Add another half pint of raspberries to the sauce and then ladle the sauce over each hen.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley. 

This dish is delicious served with a wild and brown rice, quinoa or couscous to soak up the chicken juices and sauce.  Yum!



  1. Hey Karista,

    You know what, I’m a big fan of cornish hens, but I’ve never used sweet cornish hen before. This post suprised me a lot, rasberry in my country is expensive but anyway I will give it a try. Thank you Karista

    • I adore a fruit laced savory sauce over poultry. It’s a lovely combination and creates a nice change of flavor. If you can’t find raspberries where you live, substitute with any fresh or frozen berry. Enjoy and thanks for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  2. looks very delicious! i’d like to try this recipe out on one special occasion this month! thanks for sharing!
    I hope you can also check out our site at thanks!

  3. I love a great cornish hen recipe and your raspberry pan sauce over the cornish hens sounds absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing this, I can’t wait to try it.

    • So glad you like the Raspberry Pan Sauce recipe! It’s perfect for spring and summer cooking. Thanks for checking in, and I’ll definitely check out your blog as well. Happy Cooking!


  1. […] 1 heaping tablespoon raspberry preserves (great on scones, toast and use the remaining jar to prepare a savory Raspberry Sauce) […]

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