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Stuffed Roast Cornish Hens recipe

These delicious stuffed roast Cornish hensmake an elegant entr e for a sit-down dinner for six diningguests.

Recipe: Stuffed Roast CornishHens

2 cups kosher or 1 cup table salt
6 Cornish hens (each 1 to 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of extra fat,giblets removed, rinsed well
3 cups prepared stuffing, heated until very hot (120°F to130°F | 50°C to 55°C in microwave)
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine

  • Dissolve salt in 5 quarts of cold waterin 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 paringknife.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position andheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Spoon 1/2 cup of hot stuffinginto cavity of each hen; tie legs of each hen together with 10-inchpiece of kitchen twine. Leaving as much space as possible betweeneach bird, arrange them breast side down and wings facing out,on large (at least 19 by 13 inches) wire rack, set over an equallylarge roasting or jelly-roll pan. Whisk balsamic vinegar andoil in small bowl; set aside.
  • Roast until backs are golden brown, about25 minutes. Remove pan from oven, brush bird backs with vinegarand oil glaze (reblending before each bird), turn hens breastside up and wings facing out, and brush breast and leg with additionalglaze. Return pan to oven, add 1 cup of water, and roast untilmeat thermometer inserted into stuffed cavity registers about150°F (65°C), about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Remove panfrom oven again, brush birds with remaining glaze, return panto oven, add another 1/2 cup water to pan and increase oven temperatureto 450°F (230°C). Roast until birds are spotty brownand stuffed cavity registers 165°F (75°C), 5 to 10 minutes.Remove birds from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour hen jus from roastingpan into small saucepan, spoon off excess fat, add vermouth orwine, and simmer over medium-high heat until flavors blend, 2to 3 minutes. Drizzle about 1/4 cup sauce over each hen and serve,passing remaining sauce separately.

    Serves 6.

    Note: Many game hens in the supermarketweigh more than 1 1/2 pounds, making them too large for a singleserving. Try to buy small game hens or go to the butcher andorder baby chickens, also called poussin, which generally weighabout one pound. Brining the birds breast side down ensures thatthe meatiest portions are fully submerged. Pouring a little waterinto the roasting pan at the 25-minute mark, once the birds havebeen turned, both prevents them from smoking during cooking andmakes instant jus, eliminating the need to deglaze the pan overtwo burners.

    Betty's Baked Cornish Hens with Pecan-Sage Stuffing ☆

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