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Game Hens with Fruit-and-Sausage Stuffing

HOWARD L. PUCKETT
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 hen half, 3/4 cup stuffing, 1/4 cup sauce)
Don't be intimidated by the length of this recipe; it's really four recipes in one.

Ingredients

  • 2 (1 1/2-pound) Rock Cornish game hens
  • teaspoon Southern France Spice Mix
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cups (1-inch) French bread cubes (about 2 [1-ounce] slices)
  • 1 cup chopped peeled Rome apple
  • 1/4 pound diced smoked turkey sausage
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted prunes
  • 1 teaspoon Southern France Spice Mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Southern France Spice Mix
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Fresh sage (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 638
  • caloriesfromfat 31 %
  • fat 22 g
  • satfat 5.9 g
  • monofat 7.9 g
  • polyfat 5.5 g
  • protein 42.5 g
  • carbohydrate 67.3 g
  • fiber 3.8 g
  • cholesterol 83 mg
  • iron 5 mg
  • sodium 604 mg
  • calcium 76 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. For the hens: Remove and reserve giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens under cold water, and pat dry. Halve hens lengthwise; trim excess fat. Loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub 1/2 teaspoon Southern France Spice Mix beneath skin of each hen half. Set aside.

  3. For the stuffing: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup shallots; sauté 2 minutes. Add bread cubes and next 7 ingredients (bread cubes through salt); cook 1 minute, stirring until well-blended. Remove from heat.

  4. Arrange bread slices in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon 3/4 cup stuffing mixture onto each bread slice. Place 1 hen half, skin side up, over each mound of stuffing mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

  5. For the sauce: Combine boiling water and 2 tablespoons cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain.

  6. Cook giblets, necks, 2 tablespoons shallots, and peppercorns in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Add apple and cranberry juices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Strain through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to skillet. Combine wine and cornstarch in a bowl; stir well. Add cornstarch mixture, rehydrated cranberries, lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon Southern France Spice Mix to skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick; stir constantly. Serve with hens and stuffing. Garnish with parsley and sage, if desired.