Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens with Fig and Hazelnut Stuffing

Servings: 6

Be sure you have made the cornbread ahead of time before taking on this recipe.



1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for basting
1 rib celery, cut into a small dice
1 tender leek, white and some green, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, cut into a small dice
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon each: finely chopped fresh herb leaves: thyme, sage, rosemary
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2-1/2 cups finely diced cornbread
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur
1/3 cup dried Black Mission figs
6 (12- to16-ounce) free-range game hens, cavities rinsed
1 cup white wine

Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens with Fig and Hazelnut Stuffing recipe 


To make the glaze, combine the cranberries, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan coated with Teflon™ non-stick. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer, cooking until the cranberries pop and are very soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a fine sieve set over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to force most of the pulp through the sieve, leaving the cranberry skins and seeds behind. Add the thyme and stir until the glaze is well mixed; set aside to cool and thicken.

In a medium saucepan coated with Teflon™ non-stick, melt the stick of butter and saute the celery, leek and onion until just beginning to brown; add the chicken stock and reduce to 1-1/2 cups; add the fresh herbs. Stir and transfer to a large bowl containing the cornbread. Stir just to evenly moisten and allow to cool. Add salt and pepper to taste, the hazelnuts, and the moistened figs with the liqueur. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper the washed and patted dry hens and stuff the cavities evenly with the stuffing. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the hens on a rack in a roasting pan coated with Teflon™ non-stick. Brush with a layer of melted butter. Add the wine to the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Brush half the glaze over the hens and continue cooking another 15 minutes. Glaze again and continue cooking another 15 or 20 minutes or until the hens are plump.

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