Rock Cornish Game Hens

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Cornish Hens

  • 2 (1 pound) Cornish game hens
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • Currant jelly, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Butter or margarine, melted
  • Herbs, to taste
  • Spiced crabapples (for garnish)

Raisin-Nut Stuffing

  • 1 tablespoon onion, minced
  • 1 cup soft, stale bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soft, dark or golden raisins
  • Chicken broth or water


  1. Cornish Hens: Individual portion birds of about 1 pound are excellent for party service; larger birds are ideal for 2 people.
  2. Thaw the birds; rinse and dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff with Raisin-Nut Stuffing.
  3. Raisin-Nut Stuffing: Sauté onion in butter until just tender. Add bread crumbs, salt and freshly-ground pepper. Brown crumbs lightly. Add raisins and nuts. Toss together, adding just a little water or chicken broth to moisten. This will stuff two (1 pound) birds.
  4. Fasten neck skin to back with wooden picks; twist wing tops onto back, tie legs to tail. Place a piece of heavy-duty foil in a shallow roasting pan and arrange birds in center. Brush all over with melted butter.
  5. Roast in 425 degreess F oven, basting with melted butter, 1 tablespoon dry white wine and a sprinkling of herbs several times during baking.
  6. When nicely browned (this will take about 30 minutes), close the foil by bringing edges together up over the birds or, if several birds are in the pan, cover with a second piece of foil. Do not seal airtight, since game hens do not require much cooking. Continue roasting at the same temperature for 30 to 40 minutes for individual portion birds and 50 minutes for larger birds. Look at them once during this period and, if juices have cooked away, pour on a little more melted butter and wine. Birds are done when legs move easily. Remove trussing strings and serve with sauce.
  7. Pour juices in the foil into a saucepan. Add a little more wine, a spoonful of currant jelly, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serving ideas: Arrange birds on carving board or platter. Spoon on a border of buttered rice with green pepper and pimento added for color. Garnish with spiced crabapples.