2 Cornish Game Hens, rinsed and dried
½ Cup Apricot Preserves
1 ½ Tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. White Wine
2 Tbsp. Butter
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 Box of chicken or turkey stuffing mix
½ Cup Toasted and chopped pecans
Fresh or Dried Apricots for serving (optional)
Whole Pecan Halves for serving (optional)
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove and heat until the glaze is thickened. (About five minutes). Brush each hen with the glaze and put in the oven.
To make stuffing:
1. Prepare the store bought stuffing per the boxes instructions.
2. Toast the pecans on the stove in a small skillet until lightly toasted. (About 5 minutes). Watch carefully to be sure they don’t burn.
3. Stir into the prepared stuffing.
4. Serve your Cornish hens on a bed of stuffing and garnish the platter with the apricots and pecan halves.
NOTES: I started making this exact recipe when I first started cooking a million years ago!!! I thought the glaze and the use of the cornish hens made it pretty special and the fact that I could use a store bought stuffing mix and just “doctor it up” made me think I could handle making this dish and serving it to company. I was right. I served it for my first Thanksgiving with a special boyfriend; on a “date night” with a real foodie and to a visiting guest from out of state. Each time, it got rave reviews. It is on the menu again this year the Thanksgiving since I’m just cooking for two.
Cornish hens will cook in an hour making it very manageable for a easy holiday feast. The glaze is simple but totally delicious. Adding toasted pecans to the stuffing add a little crunch and also make it more festive. If you can find fresh apricots, cut them in half to garnish your holiday platter. I had dried apricots on hand so I used those.
Depending on your guest’s appetite, these can be cut in half so you can serve four. I love the presentation of the whole cornish hen on a plate with the stuffing underneath, but that is a lot of food so use your judgement. Every guy I know can eat a whole one!
I typically good these sitting on a small rack over a pan so the bottom doesn’t get soggy. Just putting a rack over a backing sheet will work just fine. I just the same ones I use when I’m cooling cookies from the oven. They are great, light and I can use them for a ton of things.
This is a tried and true recipe that works for all kinds of situations but this year, it will be on my holiday table. Enjoy.