serendipitous reflections

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cornish Hens and Apple-Onion Stuffin' Muffins

Since it was just Dean and I for Thanksgiving this year, I cooked Cornish hens (Thanks Paula!) instead of a turkey or ham. They turned out wonderfully and the stuffin' muffins (Thanks Rachael Ray!) were awesome. We did buy some turkey from the deli for day after Thanksgiving sandwiches which were so good with the apple stuffing on them.

Honey Game Hens
6 Cornish game hens (about 3/4 to 1 pound each)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest, minced

Rinse hens, trim off excess fat, and pat dry; place in bowl. Put garlic and ginger in food processor and process until nearly smooth. In another bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, oil, orange juice, and zest. Add the garlic and ginger. Pour mixture over game hens, coating well. Refrigerate overnight, turning in marinade several times.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place game hens in shallow roasting pan; pour marinade on top. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. Remove hens to serving platter. Pour cooking juices into small, heavy saucepan and boil for 4 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Pour over hens just before serving. Serve with sesame noodles or rice pilaf. These hens can also be grilled; just remember to baste often.

Apple and Onion Stuffin' Muffins
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 stick butter, softened
1 fresh bay leaf, available in produce department
4 ribs celery and greens, from the heart, chopped
1 medium to large yellow skinned onion, chopped
3 McIntosh apples, quartered and chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 cups cubed stuffing mix (recommended: Pepperidge Farm) * I used Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix because I'm a manic for cornbread stuffing.
2 to 3 cups chicken stock, available in paper containers on the soup aisle

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to skillet and 4 tablespoons butter. When butter melts, add bay leaf and add the vegetables as you chop them, celery, onions then apples. Sprinkle the vegetables and apples with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 to 6 minutes to begin to soften vegetables and apples then add parsley and stuffing cubes to the pan and combine. Moisten the stuffing with chicken broth until all of the bread is soft but not wet.

Butter 12 muffin cups, 2 tins, liberally with remaining butter. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing in muffin tins. Remove the bay leaf as you scoop the stuffing when you come upon it. Bake until set and crisp on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove stuffin' muffins to a platter and serve hot or room temperature.

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