Roast Stuffed Cornish Hens for Two
- 3/4 cup kosher salt or 1/3 cup table salt
- 2 cornish game hens; trimmed, rinsed well
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 recipe stuffing; hot
- 4 teaspoon dry vermouth or white wine
1. Dissolve salt in six cups cold water in small clean bucket or large
bowl. Add hens, breast side down; refrigerate one hour. Remove, rinse
thoroughly, pat dry, and prick skin (not meat) all over breast and legs
with point of a paring knife.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. Whisk
balsamic vinegar and oil in small bowl. Set aside.
Spoon hot stuffing into cavity of each hen; tie legs together with six-inch
piece of kitchen twine. Leaving as much space as possible between each
bird, arrange them breast side down and wings facing out, on wire rack, set
over roasting or jelly-roll pan. Roast until backs are golden brown, about
3. Remove pan from oven, brush bird backs with vinegar and oil glaze
(reblending before each bird), turn hens breast side up and wings facing
out, and brush breast and leg area with aditional glaze. Return pan to
oven, add 1/2 cup water, roast until meat thermometer inserted into the
stuffed cabity registers about 150 degrees, about 20 minutes longer.
4. Remove pan from oven again, brush birds with re-blended glaze, return
pan to oven, add another 1/4 cup water to pan and increase oven temperature
to 450°F. Roast until birds are spotty brown and cavity registers 160
degrees, 10 minutes longer.
5. Remove birds from oven, brush with remaining glaze and rest for ten
6. Meanwhile, pour hen "jus" from roasting pan into small saucepan, spoon
off excess fat, add vermouth or wine, and simmer over medium-high heat
until flavors blend, two to three minutes. Drizzle about 1/4 cup sauce over
each hen and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
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