The cherry glaze adds beautiful color to the hens. Serve with a side of steamed Broccolini or green beans. For easier clean-up, line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil.
Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2005
Preheat oven to 475°.
Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup onion, carrot, celery, and poultry seasoning; cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth and cherries. Bring to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes. Combine vegetable mixture, bread cubes, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir well to combine; cool completely.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, preserves, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens under cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Working with 1 hen at a time, loosely stuff each hen with about 3/4 cup bread mixture. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under hen. Repeat procedure with remaining hens and bread mixture; place hens, breast sides up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Bake at 475° for 15 minutes; remove from oven. Brush hens with preserves mixture; reduce oven temperature to 400°. Bake an additional 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into stuffing registers 165°, basting every 10 minutes with preserves mixture. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Remove twine before serving.
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