holidays & recipes: cornish game hens and wild rice with cornbread stuffing & brussels sprouts

Cornish Game Hen Recipe  with Wild Rice and Cornbread

Elegance is usually derived from simplicity. When creating a menu for a gathering, such as Christmas, there is no reason why simplicity should not rule the day. This menu was inspired by one that was found in a Martha Stewart book called “Holidays”. The menu in the book is quite extensive and while each dish is not necessarily difficult, they do require attention to detail and when making the entire menu, as suggested by Martha Stewart, it is quite demanding. Our version of and elegant Christmas dinner menu includes two recipes taken directly from Martha Stewart’s book.

Many people have good intentions when taking on challenging menus, but sometimes good intentions aren’t enough, especially during the holiday season. Why stress yourself out with complex food preparations when simple recipes will not only taste delicious, look fabulous, but satisfy your guests as well. And, what could be more satisfying than seeing your own personal Cornish game hen plated before you, complete with wild rice/cornbread stuffing.

What we love about the Cornish game hens is how special they will make your guest feel, the short (compared to a roast or turkey) cooking time and the versatility in preparation. We used a more traditional, cost effective recipe as we know it may be a financially trying time for many. As a matter of fact, the entire menu for an “Elegant Christmas Dinner” is remarkably inexpensive, yet amazingly sophisticated.

Cornish Game Hen Recipe with Wild Rice and Cornbread

An Elegant Christmas Dinner Menu

Cornish Game Hens and Wild Rice/Cornbread Stuffing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Beggar’s Purse
Caramel Coated Seckel Pears

Cornish Game Hens and Wild Rice/Cornbread Stuffing* (Serves 4)
Ingredients
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4 (1 lb.) Cornish game hens
2 tbs thyme
1 tbs fresh sage, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tbs finely chopped onion
4 tbs chopped celery
2 cups cornbread stuffing cubes
2/3 cups uncooked rice mix (wild rice/brown rice)
6 tbs butter , plus 2 tbs melted butter for brushing the game hens
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Season game hens inside and out with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. In small saucepan, sauté onion and rice in butter for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water and broth. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook slowly about 20-25 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy. Remove from heat. Stir in the cornbread stuffing cubes. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Lightly stuff birds with stuffing mixture. Place breast up on rack in shallow baking pan. Brush with melted butter. Roast covered in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and roast 1 hour longer or until drumstick can be twisted easily in socket. Brush birds with melted butter during last 15 minutes of roasting time.

The stuffing used in this recipe is delicious; however, if you’d like to be creative you can add seasonings of your liking, carrots or mushrooms.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts* (This recipe from Ina Garten)

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve immediately.

The Brussels sprouts could easily be swapped with roasted root vegetables or any other vegetable to your liking. We know there are many out there who’d rather pass on the Brussels sprouts.

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9 comments

  • December 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm //

    This looks really delicious!!!

    • December 23, 2011 at 8:42 am //

      Thank you! Have a Happy Christmas & Merry New Year

  • December 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm //

    That looks elegant and tasty. Would love to try that in my Big Green Egg with just a hint of smoke. Bet that would be good. Thanks for sharing.

    • December 21, 2011 at 9:36 am //

      Thank you so much Griffin, a hint of smoke sounds wonderful!!!

  • December 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm //

    Wow, that looks like an amazing dinner,! In Germany, goose is the traditional Chtistmas bird, so that’s what’s on todays menu! :)

  • August 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm //

    Your description of your mom’s Thanksgiving dnienr made me really hungry, then your version of Thanksgiving menu… wow, amazing menu Shawn! I’m still new to the Thanksgiving Dinner and I have never made the dnienr by myself. We’re usually invited to our friends house and they do Cajun style deep frying turkey which is SUPER delicious… I can’t wait to eat it. =) Your pumpkin cake with cinnamon whip. YUM! I have to start losing weight before the holidays. >_< Hehee.

  • August 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm //

    Oh my gosh, my boys would be all over your menu! Whole fried chicken AND baby back ribs…neither of them are big tukery eaters, so that would be perfect. But I stick with the traditional. And as long as I have ham and macaroni and cheese they are happy. Your menu sounds delicious and so does your mom’s! And that pumpkin cake…oh my!