December 19, 2011

Cornish Hen with Sausage Stuffing

For Thanksgiving we went to Kingston to visit some friends and they had a delicious meal planned. And while thanksgiving was weeks ago, it would make a terrific Christmas dinner – something special and different.

The husband is a BBQ guy and does all sorts of funky stuff with and on the BBQ. His plan was to BBQ the hens and some sweet potato squash, and I have to tell you how delicious they were. I tried recreating it at home, and it was good, but his smoke chips gave it a flavour that I just cannot repeat. I’m not a fan of mushrooms and the stuffing was half mushrooms and sausages, but I was intrigued. Plus I will rarely tell people I don’t like something (I did enough of that as a vegetarian when people thought I was just being ‘picky’). It was delicious. It makes you think a little differently about those recipe cards you see at the grocery store.

So if you’re looking for something different for a special occasion, think about this. Doing something like this can seem a little daunting, but it’s actually quite easy. Your butcher can remove the casings for you (Sasloves often has leftover sausage meat in the freezer) and the stuffing can be baked in a separate dish. At Thanksgiving we made the stuffing without breadcrumbs and I tried it with at home, and they were both tasty. If you add the breadcrumbs and bake it in a separate dish, add a little stock to keep it moist. Without the juices from the hens it can be a little dry. Also depending on your appetite, two hens cut in half can be suffice for four people, especially if you have many side dishes. Not sure where to find summer savory? It can often be found in the produce section dried and tied into a bunch.

Cornish Hen Stuffed with Sausage and Parmesan  (serves 2)
2 Italian sausages, casings removed, and broken into pieces
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup gf breadcrumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbs fresh rosemary or summer savory, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cornish hens
In a medium skillet, add sauage meat and cook until browned. Remove from heat and drain off access fat. Put into a bowl. In the same pan, add 2 tbs butter, onions and mushrooms and cook until softened. Add to the sausage and allow to cool. When cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Put stuffing into each Cornish hen and close the opening with skewers. Place in a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Baste periodically with butter. Remove skewers before serving.


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