Cornish hens with wild mushroom stuffing

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PREP TIME

25 min

Makes

4 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 11 minutes, Roasting Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Corniish hens
  • 14-g pkg dried mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 baguette
  • 2 large shallots
  • 250 g fresh mixed mushrooms , about 2 cups
  • 3 tbsp butter , at room temperature
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried sage leaves

Instructions

  • Thaw hens if frozen. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour boiling water overtop. Rinse hens under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan with shallow sides or a rimmed baking sheet just large enough to hold them. Cut baguette into small cubes, about 1/3 inch (0.7 cm). They should measure about 3 cups (750 mL). Spread out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toast in centre of preheated oven until light golden, about 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Turn into a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, coarsely chop shallots. Slice fresh mushrooms. Melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add shallots. Stir frequently until softened, about 3 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and a little more butter, if needed. Stir frequently until they start to take on a little colour, 5 to 6 minutes. While fresh mushrooms are cooking, drain dried mushrooms and save liquid. Coarsely chop soaked mushrooms. Thinly slice green onions. Add both to bowl with toasted bread. Pour mushroom liquid over cooked mushrooms in pan. Increase heat to high. Stir often until all liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to bread mixture. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly mix.
  • Stuff body cavity of each hen. Pack but do not overstuff, as stuffing expands as it cooks. Tie legs together with butcher string. Tuck wing tips under birds. Rub remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter over hens. Sprinkle with sage. Roast in centre of preheated oven, basting occasionally with pan juices, until skins are golden and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 170F (77C), 50 to 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Great with sautéed baby carrots and green beans.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 437,
  • Protein
  • 50 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.7 g,
  • Fat
  • 17.2 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 647 mg.

Roasting Cornish hens is a smart idea when entertaining. The house fills with a wonderful rich aroma and when it’s time to serve, there’s no last-minute runaround to carve the main course, since each guest can tuck into his or her own delicious mini-bird.

Make ahead

A day before serving, prepare stuffing. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stuff Cornish hens just before roasting.