Want to serve an elegant entree that the kids will love, too? This healthy holiday recipe features Cornish Game Hens, which are easy to cook and – since they’re similar to chicken – they’re generally a crowd pleaser. For a time-saving tip, substitute microwavable wild rice. If using dried mushrooms, try reconstituting in dry red wine for extra flavor.
Makes 8 servings
8 Cornish game hens (1 pound each)
Cracked black pepper
1 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, margarine
(or basting mixture of 1/2 cup dry red wine and 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock)
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms (shiitake, morel, chanterelle, etc.)
3 cups cooked wild rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and discard game hen necks and giblets; rinse and pat dry Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, soak porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of water for 25 minutes. Strain mushrooms and liquid through a coffee filter placed in a strainer over a bowl. Reserve liquid. Rinse and chop mushrooms; set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt half the butter. When butter is foamy add onions, celery, and fresh and reserved mushrooms. Stir until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add rice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Moisten slightly with about 3 Tbsp. reserved mushroom water, depending on dryness.
Melt remaining butter and set aside. Gently fill bird cavities with stuffing. Fold excess skin over opening and tie legs together.
Place hens, with ample space between them, on two 12″ x 19″ baking sheets. Brush hens generously with your choice of butter, margerine or the alternative wine/chicken stock basting mixture. Bake about 1 hour.
Hope you enjoy a healthy eating holiday!