A truly visually appealing preparation of cornish hens with a delectable stuffing that will have you opening the fridge the next day for leftover. I also love this dish because its so moist its almost impossible to overcook. —justin rashbaum
Cornish Hens (offal bag removed)
Baby Bella Mushrooms (or other wild mushrooms)
sprigs of fresh thyme (lemon thyme if available)
Pulverize 1 french baguette in a food processor. De-sprig and coarsely chop the rosemary, oregano and thyme. Mix the bread and herbs together. Set aside.
Pulverize 1 large yellow onion in a food processor. Remove from processor. Subsequently, pulverize 2 cartons of mushrooms and set aside.
Heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pot and add the onions, just lightly heating the mixture for a few minutes, not looking to brown or carmelize the onions. Add the mushrooms and dried cranberries and cook until a dark grey 'mush' forms, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Shut off the heat and add 1 cracked egg, a handful of romano cheese and the herbed bread crumb mixture. Stir until a stuffing forms. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before stuffing the chicken.
Take your finger and release the skin from the topside of the hen to create a pouch. Be as careful as you can not to puncture the skin. If you do, no big deal. Stuff the stuffing mixture in the carcass, leaving about an inch or two of space from the orifice. Gently stuff the mixture under the skin as well. Place a quarter of a lemon on both openings of the hen and tie with twine in roughly 3-4 spots, especially the legs.
Rub the skin with olive oil and salt heavily with kosher salt and black pepper. You can use any other seasoning you like but I prefer to keep the skin simple because the inside is so complex in taste.
I like to cook at roughly 400 degrees for an hour and then transfer to finish on a covered grill for 10-12 minutes for added char. Let rest for 10 minutes. Split up the middle and place the pea shoot salad (olive oil/lemon or olive oil/cider vinegar) in between. Present to the table and then bring back to the kitchen to portion out or portion at the table.
Break hen lengthwise up the middle and portion a healthy helping of pea shoots tossed in cider vinegar and olive oil (or lemon and olive oil). Note: If you have leftover stuffing after stuffing the hens, place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 30 minutes.