Main Course/ Thanksgiving

STUFFED CORNISH HENS ROASTED OVER WINTER VEGETABLES

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Ingredients

  • Serves 2:
  • 2 game hens (1 and ½ - 2 pounds each)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Herb Butter:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • Vegetables:
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 3 small potatoes, quartered with skin
  • 5-6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 parsnips, peeled
  • 1 pound butternut squash cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Stuffing: (enough for 4-5 hens)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cups pureed canned tomatoes (any kind: whole, chopped…it
  • doesn’t matter because you will puree them)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • flakes
  • Salt (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

1

Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)

2

Prepare the stuffing first. Place the onions and garlic cloves with the olive oil in a pot and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until soft and golden. Mash the garlic once it has softened.

3

Add ground beef and break it up while browning a bit. Add canned

4

tomato puree, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook approximately 20 minutes. Add oregano and mix well.

5

Add rice, 1 cup of water, raisins, and a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.

6

Reduce heat to very low and cover the pot. Allow the rice to simmer covered for 15 minutes. Do not uncover the pot to check on the rice until the 15 minutes have not passed.

7

Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat about 5-6 minutes tossing often to avoid burning. Set aside.

8

Add chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts and mix well. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

9

Place all of the vegetables on a baking sheet tray and drizzle olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and cumin powder. Toss the vegetables and lay them in a single layer on the baking tray. Season with some more salt so that they have salt on all sides.

10

Time to stuff the hens. Wash them with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure they are completely dry so that the seasoning sticks to them.

11

Season the cavity well with salt.

12

Fill the hens with about 1 cup of the rice filling.

13

Prepare the herb butter by combining the melted butter, minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and chopped rosemary. Mix well.

14

Brush the hens all over with the herb butter.

15

Place the stuffed hens on top of the prepared vegetables. Season with more salt, pepper and some cumin powder.

16

Roast about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked.

17

Remove the tray from the oven and place the Cornish hens in another baking pan. Roast them 20-30 minutes more or until cooked. They are cooked when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and their juices run clear.

18

Remove from oven and let them rest at least 15 minutes before serving.

19

Enjoy!

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