So I’ve decided I’m kind of glad I’m getting traffic from dieting sites because when those people get here, they’ll actually just read my ramblings about how much dieting fking sucks and why you shouldn’t do it. So it’s not so great that those people are coming here because they think they need to go on some restrictive diet, but it’s great because they’ll make their way here and then hopefully to sites like Kylie’s and Robyn’s. The hope is they’ll see the light and get off the diet train.
Our Thanksgiving is over now which means it’s about that time for American Thanksgiving to become the focus on the interwebs. I suppose Halloween is first but I’m not that in to Halloween. Admittedly, I’m looking forward to handing candy out to all the adorable kiddos and keeping the candy we love for ourselves, but we’ll probably just eat dinner at home, watch some movies and eat all the candy. It’s not exciting for us in this season of life. I imagine it’ll be a lot more fun when we have kids, but that time isn’t now.
SO my point in all of this is that these stuffed cornish hens are a really excellent Thanksgiving meal! They’re a lot less bother than roasting a whole turkey and it’s more fun. Plus you won’t have mega leftovers that you have to eat for like every meal. I know we all love leftover turkey but, at least in our family, I somehow end up with WAY MORE turkey than we can eat and by the end of the week I never want to see another turkey again.
There’s worse problems to have, but personally I’d rather just roast some hens and be done with it. They also take a fraction of the time of turkeys and they still make excellent vehicles for stuffing. Individual sized stuffing, in fact!
I think it’s clear I like individual servings. Individual birds, stuffing and pie!
Mark’s favorite part of these stuffed cornish hens is the skin. He loves poultry skin and I think it’s horrible. I can’t deal with the greasiness of it. I’m not in to it. So I pull the skin off and give mine to him. It makes him happy. My favorite is the mushroom rice stuffing. Perfectly buttery, herby and stuffing-y. I can’t get enough.
Not being a very big poultry person, I usually only eat half of a bird. That’s my cut off point for enjoyment of poultry. I’d much rather have extra stuffing and buttery vegetables than extra meat so there’s extra stuffing baked on the side. Extra carbs will always win over extra protein for me. Alwaysss.
My go-to side vegetable is usually sauteed frozen green beans in olive oil and salt because I love it and also because it’s dead easy. If I don’t do that, buttery steamed broccoli sometimes happens or, our latest favorite is shredded brussels sprouts or cabbage sauteed in olive oil and salt. Very basic, very tasty. Since we actually always do Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, this is just something I make for us every now and then near the holidays as a special dinner so I don’t go all out with sides and gravy. You could definitely do that if this was going to be your main event.
The usual suspects like cranberry sauce, gravy, roasted carrots, green bean casserole, all the things you love would go very nicely here. Whatever calls to you, add it!
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tbsp minced fresh minced rosemary
- ½ tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 4 Cornish hens (1-1/2 lb/675 g each)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 pound sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 rib celery thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1½ cup wild rice blend
- 2½ cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
- Stuffing: In saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook shallot, celery and mushrooms with herbs and a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally until mushrooms have given off their moisture and begin to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Season mushrooms with salt.
- Add rice, stirring to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours, adding 10 minutes to cooking time for baking dish.) Taste, season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- In small bowl, stir butter with herbs and set aside.
- Remove neck and any giblets from cavity of each Cornish hen. Fill each cavity with about ½ cup of the stuffing. Brush hens with butter mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place remaining stuffing in greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish.
- Place hens, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Add stuffing; bake, uncovering halfway through, until stuffing is hot and digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of hen's thigh reads 185F (85C), about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting in half with chef's knife or poultry shears to serve.
Adapted from Canadian Living