Do you ever wish you had 34 hours in a day instead of 24? I have been feeling that way this entire year! I have hardly cooked anything, let alone tried out new recipes (hence the lack of newness on my blog) and am really bummed about it. I have been working a lot and quite frankly when I get home I’m ready to go to bed! Even this last week on my day off I went on a scavenger hunt in my freezer and discovered a batch of alfredo sauce, so I just boiled some pasta and dinner was served. That was pretty darn fancy compared to my meals as of late, but I thought it might be a little crazy to post “leftovers from my freezer” as a blog entry. Hopefully I can figure out a better schedule and get inspired in the kitchen again. I have tons of recipes on the back burner I’m dying to try so I really do need to hit up the grocery store and start cooking.
Ok, now on to the exciting part of this entry, the stuffed Cornish game hens. I was watching the Food Network and saw Tyler make these delightful treats and decided to whip them up for a dinner party that I had forever ago. The stuffing is a very nice combination of sweet and savory because it is made with cornbread, figs, and sausage, so you really get a nice hit of flavor from all these different ingredients. I tried the glaze that he used, which is quite a bit of work to be honest and think next time I make this dish I will simply coat the hens with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.
Cornbread & Fig Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
1 1/2 Cups Dried Figs, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Cups Warm Water
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Minced
1 Tablespoon Rosemary Leaves
1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 8x8 Inch Pan Cornbread
1 Cup Rehydrated Figs, Chopped
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/2Cup Chicken Stock
4 Cornish Game Hens, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each
4 Tablespoons Butter, softened
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Begin by re-hydrating the figs. In a large mixing bowl add the figs, honey, lemon juice and cover with warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 to 25 minutes until the figs are tender and soft. Strain the figs and reserve the liquid - as this will be the base for the glaze.
To make the stuffing, heat a little extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat and gently sauté the onions with rosemary. Add the sweet Italian sausage and continue to sauté until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. When done, scrape it all into a large mixing bowl, add the cornbread pieces and figs and season well with salt and pepper. Give it a good toss until it's well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and stock, and pour that over the cornbread. Stir the stuffing together and set it aside while you work on the hens.
Wash and clean the birds. Season the cavities with salt and pepper and fill with stuffing. Dot the top of each bird with butter and season with salt and pepper. Lay out on a roasting tray and pop into the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. While they are roasting, set the fig liquid over medium-high heat and add balsamic and butter. Reduce until syrupy and baste the birds with 10 minutes to go. When done, an instant-read thermometer should registers 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.