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Roast Cornish Hens With Sage Stuffing

Yield 6 servings


  • 6 (1- to 1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 chicken livers (about 1/4 pound)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 1/4 cups Chablis or other dry white wine, divided
  • 2 cups soft breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried whole thyme
  • 1/2 cup red currant jelly
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

How to Make It

  1. Remove giblets from hens. Reserve livers for stuffing; discard giblets. Rinse hens with cold water; pat dry. Rub cavity of each with lemon. Sprinkle each cavity with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  2. Combine reserved livers and chicken livers in a colander; rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Sauté livers in 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet 3 minutes or until livers are browned. Remove livers; chop finely and set aside. Reserve drippings in skillet.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons butter, onion, and ham to skillet; sauté 5 minutes. Add chopped liver, mushrooms, almonds, parsley, and 3/4 cup wine; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and add breadcrumbs, sage, and thyme, stirring well. Stuff hens lightly with herb mixture. Close cavities, and secure with wooden picks; truss. Place hens, breast side up, in a shallow baking pan.

  4. Combine jelly and remaining 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring often, until jelly melts. Stir in 1 cup wine. Pour mixture over hens. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 350°, and bake an additional 45 minutes, basting occasionally. If hens get too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

  5. Skim fat from pan drippings. Discard fat, and transfer drippings to a small saucepan. Blend flour with a small amount of water, mixing to form a smooth paste; stir into drippings. Add remaining wine; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Serve gravy with Cornish hens.

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