We’re under lock-down, the cases are rising everywhere in the northern hemisphere (I think), and the holiday season is slowly sneaking up on us.
We have celebrated Thanksgiving a few times since we moved to this side of the pond. The first year we had only been out of the U.S. for 2 months so it was a pretty big deal for us to be missing the family turkey day. We went to an Irish pub (we were in Ireland….)
In Andorra our golf club hosted the annual End of Season Event on American Thanksgiving Day (as opposed to Canadian Thanksgiving Day). But that stopped after we moved to France 15 years ago.
The only actual turkey dinner we’ve had was 2 years ago with visiting American friends.
Mon mari is not fond of turkey and they are very hard to find before Christmas here. But we both love the little chickens or poussin we get. They’re the same size as a Cornish Game Hen.
If you are going to be having a scaled back T-Day dinner this year, and you should be, Stuffed Cornish Hens are perfect. You can do 1 each and have those wonderful leftovers or find one on the larger side, do 1 for two and make it a romantic, sharing holiday.
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Roast, Stuffed Cornish Hens
These are the perfect alternative to a big turkey if you are having a small holiday dinner. Make 1 each or, if they are on the larger side, 1 for every 2 people.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Category: Cornish Hens
- Method: Roasting
- 1 1/2 tbs soft butter
- 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- dash of celery salt
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) white wine
- 2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbs chicken stock
- 4 slices white bread, dried, torn into small pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2oz (60gr) sausage
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 egg
- The Stuffing:
- Sauté onion, celery and sausage until onion is tender and sausage cooked through.
- Put into a bowl along with paprika, herbs and bread. Mix well.
- Add enough stock to moisten it lightly but don’t make it soggy.
- Add egg and mix lightly.
- The Hens:
- Mix the butter and mustard.
- Loosen skin across top of birds by pinching gently.
- With your finger tips rub butter mixture over the birds under the skin, covering as much of the surface as you can.
- Spoon the stuffing inside the cavity of each bird, filling about 3/4 full, and tie legs together.
- If all the stuffing doesn’t fit, bake it separately for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Twist wings around and tuck under backs.
- Sprinkle with salt
- Put birds on a rack in a roasting pan and into a 400F (200C) degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350F (175C) and roast for 35 – 45 minutes longer.
- Baste birds every 15 minutes alternating between stock and wine.
- To finish:
- Remove birds and cover loosely with foil. Let rest
- Transfer drippings to a saucepan, along with any remaining wine and stock.
- Heat to boiling, then add cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened.
- Remove stuffing and place each bird and it’s stuffing on a plate and serve, gravy on the side.
If serving 1 bird for 2 people you can remove stuffing and cut bird in half, or slice like you would a larger bird.
Keywords: stuffed cornish hens, roast cornish game hens
We won’t be off on our bike rides for awhile and the leaves are falling fast here now.
These photos are from that last, glorious, sunny day before lock-down:
That’s my bike
The canal was pretty quiet that day.
The leaves were all collecting on the high side of the locks:
It was a beautiful day…..
The bike rack is off the car for the foreseeable future.
Sigh….. I could have used a good, hard, fast, long bike ride today.