Sunday, January 24, 2010
Tropical Fruit Stuffed Cornish Hens
With an epic fail behind me, I was determined to execute a great dish for my final meal of the week. However, I had a predicament. I was planning on making cornish hens and I had to work until 9:30 on Thursday night. I didn't want to be up all night long just making this, considering I also had to be at work at 8am then following day. So, "lightbulb!" Andy can do it. I made sure to carefully set everything out that he would need and left the directions plain as day on the table. And plus, if it didn't turn out, I could blame it on him, hehe. Anyway, things went accordingly, and the only somewhat funny question he asked me was... "so we're using this rice to fill up this bird instead of stuffing right?" I know he just pictures a box of StoveTop or something when he thinks of stuffing but I had to explain to him that all of those ingredients combined WERE the actual stuffing. Lightbulbs went off in his head and he understood.
2 Cornish Hens (about 1-1&1/2 lbs each)
8 oz. bag of tropical dried fruit (or any dried fruit you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 cups jasmine rice, cooked
1/4 teaspoon Herb de Provence
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon peppercorns (can use any variety, I used black & pink)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Empty the tropical fruit mix into a medium bowl and cover with brandy, maybe about 1/2 cup or so. Let sit for about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat your olive oil in a large skillet under medium high heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.
Add in the dried fruits and mix well. Take off heat and cool mixture to room temperature.
Mix in remaining stuffing ingredients and stuff the Cornish Hens. You can place your remaining stuffing in a baking dish and bake alongside the hens.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place hens on roasting rack, sprinkle skin with salt and pepper, and cover the exposed stuffing with aluminum foil. Roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until internal temperature is 180 F.
Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Let me tell you, this dish was a big sigh of relief. I was almost on the verge of diving off the deep end if it wasn't going to work. I mean, it was great. The stuffing was "interesting," but interesting in a good way. The flavors were complex and the hens were done perfectly. The skin was just amazing, and that's my favorite part! enjoy!