Dinner tonight: cornish hen with ham and wild rice stuffing

June 30, 2015

Wild rice stuffing makes the ideal accompaniment to these simply roasted cornish hens. With savoury mushrooms, pecans, ham and thyme in the stuffing, grated orange zest adds a refreshing burst of citrus.

Dinner tonight: cornish hen with ham and wild rice stuffing

cornish hen with ham and wild rice stuffing

Prep time 20 min

Cook time 1 hr 40 min

Serves 4

  • 175 ml (3/4 c) uncooked wild rice
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 c) broth
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 250 ml (1 c) sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) diced cooked ham
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dried marjoram
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) grated orange zest
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) toasted chopped pecans (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens (750 g to 1kg or 1 1/2 to 2 lbs each)
  1. Place the rice in a mesh strainer. Run cold water through the rice and clean thoroughly. In a small pot, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the broth is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until tender, about five minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rice, mushroom mixture, ham, thyme, marjoram, orange zest and pecans, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Lightly grease a 1 1/2 litre (1 1/2 quart) casserole.
  5. Rinse and drain the hens, then pat dry. Remove the giblets and neck. Stuff the hens with the rice mixture then tie the legs together with cotton string. Place the hens, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover the hens loosely with foil. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a casserole dish, then cover and refrigerate.
  6. Roast the hens for 30 minutes. Uncover and roast until the hens are cooked through, basting occasionally with pan drippings, 30 to 45 minutes longer.
  7. Bake the covered casserole of stuffing alongside the hens during the last 20 minutes of roasting.
  8. To serve, halve the hens lengthwise.

One more notch!

To further flavour the birds, combine softened butter, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Ease your fingers under the skin of the hens, separating the skin from the meat. Rub the butter mixture all over the birds underneath the skin.


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