Make it easy on yourself--bake Cornish hens with a simple wild rice, dried apricot and almond stuffing all in one dish. Serve with a green vegetable and cranberry relish. To save time, start with precooked wild rice, sold in pouches in the rice section.
- 2-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 1 cup apricot nectar, divided
- 1/2 cup sweet white wine or apple juice, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- Dash ground cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, bring broth and rice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, saute onion and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the apricots, almonds, 1/3 cup apricot nectar, 1/4 cup wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir into cooked rice.
- Spoon mixture into four mounds in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; top each with a Cornish hen half. Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 180°.
- In a large saucepan, combine remaining nectar and wine. Bring to a boil; cook for 5-7 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Add the vinegar, cinnamon and remaining salt and pepper. Reduce heat; cook and stir over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Serve with hens and rice. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Cornish Hens with Wild Rice in Country Woman November/December 2006, p41
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