Saturday, December 17, 2011

Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Thyme adds a wonderful flavour to these little hens.
Savoury mushroom stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce
compliment this holiday dinner party entree.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 2 Cornish game hens, 
  • fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
Ingredients for stuffing:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2-3 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Ingredients for cranberry sauce:
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 350 bag fresh cranberries
Method:
  1. Begin by making stuffing. Melt butter in a non stick fry pan. Add chopped vegetables and saute until onions are transparent. About 5 minutes. Add thyme and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs. Allow mixture to cool completely before stuffing hens.
  2. Wash and pat dry hens inside and out. Paper towel works well for this.
  3. Salt and pepper hens all around and place breast side up in a roasting pan.
  4. Scoop cooled stuffing into the cavity of each hen. Do not pack it in. If there is left over stuffing, place it into a greased piece of foil and bake along side. 
  5. Melt the 1 tbsp of butter and drizzle over each hen. Strip thyme stems of leaves and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp fresh leaves over each hen. The butter will help them to stick to the skin. Tie the two little drum  sticks together with kitchen twin to keep the hen from loosing it's shape and stuffing.
  6. Bake covered in 400º oven for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 30-40 minutes. To test  insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thigh of the hen, (not touching bone). It should read 180ºF. 
Method for cranberry sauce: 
  1. In a small sauce pan stir together orange juice and sugar until sugar is mostly dissolved.
  2. Add washed fresh cranberries. Over medium heat bring to a slow boil. The berries will begin to make a popping sound as they get hot. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. Stir in orange zest. Serve warm.
To serve hens either plate the whole hen and allow guests to share at table, or remove stuffing, and using  kitchen shears cut hen in half down the breast bone and divide between plates. 

Serving suggestions: garlic mashed potatoes topped with a gravy of mushrooms cream and sherry.
To make this gravy saute sliced mushrooms in a tbsp of butter for about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of cream and 2 tbsp cooking sherry. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until mixture begins to reduce and thicken. Spoon a small amount over each serving of potatoes. 
For vegetables try sugar glazed squash and brussel sprouts, which are not only healthy and delicious but add beautiful colour to your plate. 
Garnish plates with fresh parsley, fresh thyme and a few shreds of orange zest.


11 comments:

  1. Beautiful photography. This is a delightful recipe and one I will be happy to prepare and share with family and friends. I love that you have included instruction for each element of this fine meal. Thanks.
    Merry Christmas to all.

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  2. I have never tried these but they look amazing. I will give the a try!

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  3. Kathy, this looks wonderful! I have never made these, but you have given me an idea.

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  4. Kathy ....This looks so wonderful. The photo is spectacular!

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  5. Have you thought of a Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas book yet?

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  6. I was wondering what to have for Christmas dinner for my sister and myself - I've just found it. Thank You - and Merry Christmas to the entire MGCC family.

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  7. Such a wonderful looking plate of food Kathy!

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  8. I"m going to show my ignorance...

    You say each little hen will serve two, how do you serve these beautiful little ones?

    I to appreciate how you have given instructions for each element of this meal. I am thinking of inviting a few friends after the new year for this wonderful meal!

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  9. Hi Sandi, thanks for your comment and question.
    When i served these, two people shared one hen. I plated the food, but only placed a hen on every other plate. My guests actually divided it themselves. I loved the look of the whole hen in the presentation.
    If you have a really good meat shear you can also scoop out the stuffing frist in the kitchen. and then split the hens down the middle. Lay one half on each plate so the cut side is down....still looks very nice and then plate, garnish and serve...You can stuck the stuffing under the cut hen or place it beside . I hope that helps. Enjoy!

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  10. Hi Sandi, thanks for your comment and question.
    When i served these, two people shared one hen. I plated the food, but only placed a hen on every other plate. My guests actually divided it themselves. I loved the look of the whole hen in the presentation.
    If you have a really good meat shear you can also scoop out the stuffing frist in the kitchen. and then split the hens down the middle. Lay one half on each plate so the cut side is down....still looks very nice and then plate, garnish and serve...You can stuck the stuffing under the cut hen or place it beside . I hope that helps. Enjoy!

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  11. You've plated this so beautifully Kathy. I've had Cornish game hens at your house and they are delicious!

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