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Always an elegant entrée choice
for special occasions, this recipe for roast stuffed Cornish
hens also includes links to three delicious stuffing choices.
Roast Stuffed Cornish
2 cups kosher or 1 cup table salt
6 Cornish game hens (each less than 1 1/2 pounds, if possible),
trimmed of extra fat, giblets removed, and rinsed well
1 recipe stuffing (see below), heated until very hot
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
- Dissolve salt in 5 quarts cold water in
small clean bucket or large bowl. Add hens breast side down;
refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Remove, rinse thoroughly, pat dry,
and prick skin all over breast and legs with point of a paring
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and
heat oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Whisk balsamic vinegar and oil in small
bowl; set aside.
- Spoon 1/2 cup hot stuffing into cavity
of each hen; tie its legs together with 6-inch piece of kitchen
twine. Leaving as much space as possible between each bird, arrange
them breast side down and wings facing out, on large (at least
19 x 13-inch) wire rack, set over equally large roasting or jelly-roll
pan. Roast until backs are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven, brush bird backs
with vinegar and oil glaze (reblending before each bird), turn
hens breast side up and wings facing out, and brush breast and
leg area with additional glaze.
- Return pan to oven, add 1 cup water, roast
until meat thermometer inserted into the stuffed cavity registers
about 150°F (65°C), about 15 to 20 minutes longer.
- Remove pan from oven again, brush birds
with reblended glaze, return pan to oven, add another 1/2 cup
water to pan and increase oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).
Roast until birds are spotty brown and cavity registers 160°F
(70°C), 5 to 10 minutes longer, depending on bird size. Remove
birds from oven, brush with remaining glaze, and rest for 10
- Meanwhile, pour hen jus from roasting
pan into small saucepan, spoon off excess fat, add vermouth or
wine, and simmer over medium-high heat until flavors blend, 2
to 3 minutes. Drizzle about 1/4 cup sauce over each hen and serve,
passing remaining sauce separately.
Makes 6 servings.
Choose from one of these stuffing recipes
or use your own:
Couscous Stuffing with Currants, Apricots, and
Wild Rice Stuffing with Carrots, Mushrooms, and
Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Toasted
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