Roasted Cornish Hens with Kale and Pecan Stuffing

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Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour 15 minutes (mostly inactive time)
Total time:
1 hour 45 minutes

Servings/Yield: 8 Servings

If you like entertaining, it’s always a good idea to keep a solid cornish game hen recipe like this one tucked away. Cornish hens are an elegant but deceptively easy dish for entertaining, as evidenced by this recipe for roasted cornish hens with kale and pecan stuffing. With so many savory ingredients, the kale stuffing recipe is super flavorful on its own, but the addition of Santé Candied Pecans add textural contrast. The juices come together really quickly to make a savory sauce. Serve this with our crispy smashed potatoes with kale-almond pesto or roasted beet, sweet potato and parsnip salad with sweet and spicy pecans for a complete meal sure to please everyone at you table.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cornish hens (each about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Kale and Pecan Stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 leek, finely chopped (light green and white parts only)

  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped

  • 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups shredded stemmed kale

  • 1 tsp grainy mustard

  • 1 cup Santé Candied Pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Kale and Pecan Stuffing: In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; cook leek, celery, apple, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in kale, cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until wilted; stir in mustard. Let cool completely. Stir in pecans.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove giblet and neck from hens if necessary; reserve for another use. Pat hens dry; fill each cavity with stuffing. Tie legs together with kitchen string; rub hens with oil and season with salt.

Place hens in roasting pan fitted with rack; bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until stuffing is hot and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 185°F. Tent with foil; let rest for 10 minutes.

On stovetop, heat roasting pan over medium heat; cook chicken stock until reduced by half, stirring to incorporate pan drippings. Stir in parsley. Remove string from hens. To serve, cut each hen in half, serve with stuffing and some of the reduced pan juices.


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