Monday, August 22, 2011

Roasted Lemon and Parsley Cornish Hens with Rice, Mushroom and Dried Fruit Stuffing

For the last few weeks, every Sunday night has been HBO night. With a killer line-up of True Blood, Curb and Entourage there really is no better way to finish off the weekend than by vegging out and watching good TV….and of course, eating. This week we decided to go all out with a Thanksgiving inspired meal consisting of Cornish hens with a rice mixture stuffing, green beans topped with homemade candied walnuts and a fresh salad on the side. 
I really liked this recipe because of how crispy and tasty the skin turned out and how succulent and juicy the meat was. This was my first time brining meat and I will definitely do it again, putting the hens in buttermilk, salt and pepper for a few hours before cooking made the meat oh so tender.
Pour another glass of red wine and keep the weekend going!
Recipe adapted from and 2 Stews.

Roasted Lemon and Parsley Cornish Hens with Rice, Mushroom and Dried Fruit Stuffing

The Final Product!!

2 Cornish Hens, giblets removed
4 Tbsp of Butter
Olive Oil
1 or 2 Onions thickly sliced
1 lemon, sliced
4 Cloves of garlic
½ Cup of White Wine
½ Cup of Chicken Broth
¼ tsp of Seasoning Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 L of Buttermilk
Salt and Pepper

Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup of Parsley, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 cloves of garlic

Place hens in a deep dish (with a lid) and pour in buttermilk, season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Combine marinade ingredients and mush a bit with a fork to make a sort of paste.
Make the Rice, Mushroom and Dried Fruit Stuffing. (see recipe below)
Grease a roasting pan with butter and arrange onion slices on the bottom to create a bed for the hens. Season with salt and pepper. Place garlic cloves in the pan and top onions with sliced lemon.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Once the hens are done bringing, discard buttermilk and rinse the hens with cold water. Pat inside and out with a paper towel and make sure those puppies are dry!
Get a large frying pan on high heat and add lots of butter and olive oil. Once hot enough brown hens one at a time, making sure you get all sides nice and brown. Remove hens and put to the side.
To the same pan add a bit more butter and the seasoning salt, stir well. Add the white wine and use a spatula to loosen all the brown bits stuck to the pan. When the wine starts to bubble, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Once the hens are cool enough to handle, apply the marinade on the hens inside and out and wherever it will go.
Now stuff those hens full of the stuffing (see recipe below) and place them breast side up on top of the onion bed. Pour the wine-stock mixture all over the hens. Place in a pre-heated 400F oven and cook for about 55 minutes. Half way through cooking baste the hens with the juices from the pan.
Remove from the oven and let the hens rest for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Rice, Mushroom and Dried Fruit Stuffing
2 Tbspn Brandy (I used whiskey…anything would work)
5-6 dried Apricots, roughly chopped
15 dried cherries, roughly chopped
Olive oil
½ carton of mushrooms, washed and sliced
½ onion, chopped
2 gloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of Basmati rice (any rice will do)
1/3 cup chicken Stock (optional)
Parsley, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper

Soak the dried cherries and apricots in the whiskey for about 2 hours.
Cook the rice following package instructions. I used 1/3 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water to make it more flavorful (optional).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent and the mushrooms are cooked, about 10 minutes.
Once rice is cooked mix in the mushroom and onion mixture, dried fruits and parsley. Season with Salt and Pepper. Now stuff those Hens!

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