November 19, 2011

Ricotta-Herb Stuffed Cornish Game Hen.


If you are away from home on Thanksgiving and need a quick, cheep and easy way to impress a small dinner party, then why not do it with a small chicken? Adapted to use game hens instead of chicken; I have simplified the instructions just in case you are making more than two game hens.

I just picked up a small food chopper at Shopko for about $10, it makes a quick job of mincing and chopping without the cleanup of a large food processor.

For 2 Cornish Game Hens:

Stuffing

4 garlic cloves
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Leaves from 5 sprigs of oregano (chopped)
1/2 cup, ricotta cheese
1/4 cup, shredded hard cheese (if you don't know what to pick just go with Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Mince the garlic and roast in small frying pan with olive oil until golden brown or the smell of garlic permeates the kitchen. Then add the chopped herbs to the pan and fry until broken down. Spoon pan contents with the cheese mixture add salt and pepper and, um, well...mix.

Preparing the Hen

Cut a triangle from the shoulders to the middle of the breast to remove the wishbone, or just cut down the middle of the breast to open up the game hen. Turn over and lay flat, either with shears or the sharpest knife you have in your kitchen remove the backbone. Do not remove the hipbone. Just bring up the skin from the hen and open up a pocket on either side with your fingers before adding the stuffing.

Cooking

Quarter up the stuffing and go to town. Put as much stuffing in as you can fit into the game hen. Then lay the hens flat on an oiled baking sheet large enough to fit both hens. Sprinkle oil, salt and pepper over the hens. Cover with tin foil. Place into a 400 degree preheated oven and bake for 1 hr (I get the thigh up to 175).

Serve over a small portion of rice or risotto. If you do not enjoy this dish then you have either no soul or sense of taste.

Be mindful of the smaller rib bones while you are eating.



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