Cornish game hens with cornbread stuffing

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time105 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyEasy
90g unsalted butter, divided
1 small leek, white part with 2.5cm of green, finely chopped and rinsed
1 small apple (about 125g), peeled, cored, and diced
3g minced fresh sage, plus sprigs for garnish
5g minced flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
200g cubed day-old cornbread
240ml chicken stock, homemade or tin of reduced salt stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Cornish hens, giblets discarded, patted dry
1) In a medium skillet, heat 30g of the butter over a medium-low heat. Saute the leeks for 8 to 10 mins, until softened. Add the apple and cook for 3 mins more.

2) In a medium bowl combine the leek mixture with the sage, parsley, cornbread and enough broth to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Stuff the birds with the cornbread mixture and tie the legs of each hen together with kitchen twine. Melt the remaining butter. Brush the birds all over with butter and season with salt and pepper. Put the hens on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast-side up. Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 75C, about 80 mins.

4) Set the birds aside at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, for 10 mins before carving. Split the hens in half through the breast with a sharp knife or poultry shears, and keep the stuffing intact. Arrange the birds skin-side up, on a platter, garnish with sprigs of herbs and serve.

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