Stuffed Cornish game hen for two
I like to refer to this recipe as a mini Thanksgiving—if you’re missing all the flavors of turkey day, but want it to be manageable for two, this is your meal.
- 2 Cornish game hens (1 1/4 pounds each)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the hens
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, tough fibers removed and coarsely chopped
- 2 large Italian sausages, casing removed
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh winter or summer savory (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted prunes
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup hot chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated and finely chopped orange zest
- Salt and pepper
- 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2 Wash and dry the game hens. Place them on a rack inside a roasting pan.
3 Place the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the onion and celery and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Italian sausage and cook, crumbling the sausage, for about 6 minutes, or until cooked through.
4 Place the sausage mixture in a medium bowl and stir in the parsley, savory, prunes, and breadcrumbs. Add the hot chicken stock slowly, blending as you go. Finish the stuffing by blending in the orange zest and salt and pepper to taste.
5 Fill the hens with the stuffing. Truss the cavity tightly with a skewer or kitchen twine. Rub the outside of the birds with olive oil, and salt and pepper, and place them in the oven. Cook for an hour, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife and meat is completely opaque; the thermometer should read 160 degrees F when inserted into the thigh.
6 In the cavity of the butternut squash place the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until soft when pricked with a fork, and golden on top.
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Exerpted from Cooking for Two: Perfect Meals for Pairs by Jessica Strand All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.