Cornish Hen with Apple-Cranberry & Rice Stuffing

“New from the Kitchen”

Recipe of the Month – May 2020


I have several tried and true ways for cooking Cornish hens which we have always enjoyed. Having individual birds makes a wonderful presentation, however we often split one which is plenty.While typically something I fix in the fall and winter, we recently had a night without guests so I wanted to try something a little different.  I had some left over wild rice which I wanted to use so I found a recipe on the stripedspatula website for an interesting stuffing which I thought would go well with the hen.

Michael says it’s now going to be a regular on his menu.  Hope you will enjoy and p.s. don’t wait for the fall.

To good times with great food,



For a serving for 4


4 Cornish hens

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Glaze for hen:

2 cup apple cider or apple juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pinch of ground cinnamon




2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped celery

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 ½ cups cooked rice

½ cup peeled, diced apple

½ cup sweetened dried cranberries

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Splash apple cider or juice



Make the Stuffing:

Melt the butter and add onions and celery and cook until softened.   Add the pecans, sage, thyme and ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes until pecans are fragrant.

Deglaze the pan with splash of apple cider and scrape and brown bits from the bottom.

Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice, apples, cranberries and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.


Make the Glaze:

Combine the cider and maple syrup in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and maintain a steady bubble.   Simmer until the mixture is syrupy and reduced to about a 1/3 to ½ cup about 15 minutes. Whisk in Dijon and cinnamon until smooth.  Set aside


Stuff and Roast the Hens:

Remove the hens from the refrigerator for 30 minutes before roasting.  Rinse and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 425 with the rack in lower third.  Place roasting rack inside a foil lined roasting pan and spray with cooking spray.

Season the cavities with salt and pepper.  Loosely spoon about ½ cup of stuffing in each hen.  Tie the legs closed and arrange the hens in the pan with space for air to circulate.  Brush the tops and sides with melted butter, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 375 and continue roasting for 45 minutes.  During last 30 minutes brush the hens with the glaze every 10 minutes.  If the hens brown to quickly cover with a piece of foil.   Let the hens rest for 10 minutes before serving.


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