Rice Stuffed Cornish Hens — 5 Stars

I absolutely love having people over for dinner. Especially in graduate school, it’s difficult to find a venue where you can really get to know someone; a small, intimate dinner party is so much better than drinks during happy hour or a study group, I’ve found. This recipe is one of my go-to recipes. Every time I make it, people ooo and ahhh and ask for the recipe. I’m told I’m a marvelous cook, and am asked how I could have possibly found the time to make such an excellent meal. What they don’t know, though, is that this recipe takes only about 15 minutes of active prep time. I spend the rest of the time studying, or more realistically, cleaning my apartment.

After stuffing the hens, I double the rice recipe, and serve rice on the side. (To save time, triple the rice portions, and reheat 2/3 the rice just before serving.) Fresh vegetables make for a quick and easy compliment to this dish. Plan on 1/3 to 1/2 a hen per person.

As an added bonus, this is a gluten-free recipe, if you care about that. So spend $10 on ingredients, set aside a few hours on your calendar, and enjoy your next dinner party!

Ingredients
1/3 cup rice
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp dice onions
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules (or 1 chicken bouillon cube)
1 cup water
2 Cornish Hens (I thaw the frozen Tyson Cornish Hens than come 2 in a pack)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground sage
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions
1. In a small pot, melt the butter. Sautee the rice and onions in the butter for 2 minutes, long enough for the onions to become translucent.
2. Add the water and bouillon. Bring to boil over high heat. Stir twice, adjust the temperature to low. Cover, and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.
3. In a small container, combine the salt, pepper, and sage.
4. Rinse out the cornish hens. Pat dry.
5. Spread the spice mixture on the inside and outside of the birds. Stuff each hen with the rice (you should use all or almost all of the rice).
6. Using a pastry brush, brush both hens with the melted butter.
7. Place hens in baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes. Remove foil, baste with butter, and cook for another 45 to 60 minutes.

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