Roasted Cornish Hens
Whether you are planning a unique (small) Thanksgiving, or simply a romantic evening for 2, the elegant Cornish hen is probably the most forgotten bird to meet the grill. Small yes, but full of flavor and easy and quick to prepare. Be sure to cook several and freeze the rest for those quick meals on the run.
Plan on a whole bird for each adult. Ther is not much opportunity to choose because, unlike common poultry, Cornish hens are shipped covered and frozen. Thaw for 12 hours in the 'fridge or in cold water for about 2 hours or in the microwave according to directions.
Remove giblets, wash inside and out under running water. Wipe dry and rub with lemon juice inside and out. Sprinkle outside with a mixture (for 4 birds) of:
1 Tbs Hungarian Paprika
1/2 tsp thyme, ground
1/2 tsp bay leaf, ground
1/2 tsp sage, rubbed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare a stuffing:
2 Cups Bread crumbs - of real bread or rolls
1 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup celery and tops, chopped fine
1 fresh, medium orange, peeled, seeded
and chopped, with juice 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Mix well and pack each bird tightly. The mixture should be rather dry with just enough moisture to hold it together. Add more bread crumbs if required. Pin the cavity closed.