Friday, April 20, 2012

Cornish game hens stuffed with apples, tarragon and Comté cheese

                                                   8 portions


4 Cornish game hens
5 slices country bread, crust removed
2 apples (Golden Delicious or other baking apples)
1⁄4 C mix of fresh herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley)
2 T olive oil
1⁄4 C water
Optional egg yolk
3⁄4 C grated Comté or Gruyère
Salt and pepper


  • Debone hens, heat a wide casserole, coat with oil and brown bones 20 minutes with 1 onion, 1 carrot, and 1 celerystick, browning without any burning. Cover with water, add some bay leaf and thyme, and simmer down over 2 hours till about 1 cup liquid remaining.
  • Remove bones, strain and simmer with 1/3 cup cream. Add any leftover filling from the following step. Season to taste and serve as sauce.
  • For stuffing: finely dice all ingredients and mix. Should just stick together, otherwise add a little more water, egg yolk or olive oil, but be careful not to make a soggy stuffing, which will be too heavy after cooking.
  • Season to taste and place a large rounded tablespoon of stuffing in pre-seasoned half bird, between leg and breast. Optionally remove upper thighbone from hen as well, in order to have more space for stuffing.
  • Fold breast over thigh, or try squeezing into a smallish cooking dish in order to prevent birds from opening up while cooking. (Saves the trouble of having to tie them up with butcher twine. Preheat oven to 400 F(200 C.)
  • If possible, use top broiler heat but place hens on lower rack of oven. After 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 F (175 C), baste skin of hens with pastry brush and continue roasting about 10-15 minutes, or until golden, crispy, and knife inserted into joint between leg and breast does not render pink juices.

Wine Suggestion:

Brouilly, Saumur-Champigny, Sancerre rouge ou blanc, Coteaux-de-Languedoc rouge, Rully white, Limoux white, Condrieu white, Chablis, Pouilly-fume

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