Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry Stuffing is a delicious, elegant, and inexpensive main course for your Christmas dinner or a special dinner party!
These delicious game hens check all of the boxes; easy, inexpensive, flavorful, elegant, and festive, check, check, check… Tender, succulent Cornish Game Hens are stuffed with a tasty, moist and did I mention quick and easy, cranberry stuffing and then baked until they are golden brown.
Yes, I understand, the last thing you want to do on Christmas is spend all of your time in the kitchen while everyone else is relaxing and enjoying themselves. It only takes about 10 minutes to whip up the stuffing thanks to purchased cornbread muffins Then it only takes about 5 minutes to prepare your game hens and stuff them, and then on to the oven to bake for about an hour while you kick back and put your feet up. Voila, you are done, and no one needs to be the wiser!
I think these tiny game hens are underused and undervalued and I’m just as guilty. I just never seem to think of them. They were on sale at Publix last week for 2 for $7, that’s just $3.50 per person, and I don’t think you will find another main dish of this caliber any less expensive or which makes a better presentation.
If you like this company-worthy main dish recipe, you might also like these recipes: Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce, Skillet New York Strip Roast, and Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
How to cook Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry Stuffing
You will need the following ingredients to make the Cranberry Stuffing: cornbread muffins, butter, shallots, celery, dried cranberries, pecans, chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, and poultry seasoning. For the Cornish hens, you will need Cornish Game Hens, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. Optional, you might also want some additional fresh rosemary and fresh cranberries for a festive garnish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies are translucent and soft.
Add cranberries and pecans and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cranberries are rehydrated.
Crumble the corn muffins over the cranberry mixture. Add thyme, rosemary, and poultry seasoning. Mix well. Add the chicken broth. Mix well and taste. Add a little salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Pat birds dry with a paper towel and generously season each cavity with salt. Stuff each bird with about 1/4-1/3 cup of the cranberry stuffing. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string and place in a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Brush olive oil over each of the birds and season all over with additional salt and pepper.
Bake for about 1-hour, or until the hens are golden brown and register 165 degrees on a kitchen thermometer. Remove from the oven and tent the pan with foil or a pan lid and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the kitchen string and place on a platter to serve. Optional, garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary and cranberries. Serve immediately.
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