Welcome to my Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe! This dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a special family dinner or a holiday gathering. This recipe is a classic favorite of mine, and it always gets rave reviews.
The combination of roasted Cornish game hens and wild rice stuffing is simply irresistible. The hens are roasted to perfection with a sweet and savory glaze, while the wild rice stuffing adds a nutty and earthy flavor. The result is a dish that is both elegant and comforting.
But don’t let the fancy presentation fool you – this recipe is surprisingly easy to make. With just a little prep work, you can have this delicious meal on the table in no time. So, let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you tired of the same old chicken recipes? Do you want to impress your guests with something unique and delicious? Look no further than our Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe.
This dish is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The Cornish game hens are roasted to perfection, while the wild rice stuffing is flavored with mushroom stems and pieces, celery, onions, and chicken bouillon cubes. A touch of honey and butter adds just the right amount of sweetness to the stuffing.
What sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can serve it for a cozy weeknight dinner or for an elegant dinner party. It’s perfect for any occasion. Plus, the leftovers are just as delicious the next day.
If you’re worried about the difficulty level, don’t be. This recipe is simple and easy to follow. All you need to do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, stuff the hens with the rice mixture, and bake for one hour. It’s that easy!
Overall, our Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will leave your taste buds craving more. Trust us, this dish will become a staple in your recipe book.
Before we start cooking, let’s gather all the ingredients we need for this mouth-watering Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe. The ingredients list is short and sweet, but each item plays an essential role in bringing out the flavors of this dish. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 Cornish game hens: These hens have a tender and flavorful meat that is perfect for this recipe. You can find them at your local grocery store or butcher.
- 1 box of wild rice mix: Look for a box with a mix of different types of rice for added texture and flavor.
- 2 tablespoons of butter: We will use butter to sauté the vegetables and flavor the rice.
- 1 can of mushroom stems and pieces: This canned ingredient adds an earthy flavor to the stuffing.
- 1 celery stalk: It adds a fresh crunch to the stuffing.
- 1 onion: The onion will add a sweet and savory flavor to the stuffing.
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes: These cubes will be used to flavor the water for cooking the rice.
- 2 cups of water: We need this to cook the rice.
- 2 tbsp of honey: The honey will be used to glaze the hens and give them a sweet and sticky finish.
- 2 tbsp of olive oil: We will use olive oil to coat the hens before roasting to get a crispy skin.
- Salt: We will use this to season the hens and the rice stuffing.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these easy steps to make the perfect Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe.
Preheat the Oven to 400°F
Preheat the oven to 400°F. This will ensure that the Cornish Game Hens and Rice bake will cook evenly and come out perfectly.
Prepare the Cornish Game Hens
Begin by preparing the Cornish Game Hens. Wash the hens thoroughly and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut off any excess fat and remove the giblets. Season the hens generously with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Rice Stuffing
Prepare the Rice Stuffing. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of wild rice mix, 2 cups of water, 1 can of mushroom stems and pieces (drained), 1/2 cup of chopped celery, 1/2 cup of chopped onions, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, and 2 tablespoons of honey.
Stuff the Cornish Game Hens
Stuff the Cornish Game Hens with the prepared rice stuffing. Fill the body cavity of each hen with the stuffing, then truss the hens with kitchen twine. Brush the hens with olive oil and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Bake the Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake
Bake the Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake for 1 hour at 400°F. Check the internal temperature of the hens with an instant-read thermometer, making sure that they have reached 165°F.
Let the Cornish Game Hens Rest
Let the Cornish Game Hens Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the hens more tender and flavorful.
Serve and Enjoy!
Serve and enjoy! Slice the Cornish Game Hens and serve them with the rice stuffing and your favorite vegetables. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or special occasion.
Substitutions and Variations
There are plenty of ways to customize this Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are a few substitution and variation options to consider:
– Rice: Instead of using a wild rice mix, you can sub in other types of rice such as brown rice, white rice, jasmine rice, or basmati rice. You can also use a rice pilaf mix or a boxed rice mix such as Rice-a-Roni.
– Stuffing: The rice stuffing recipe can be changed up as well. You can add in diced apples, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped nuts to give it a sweet or nutty flavor. You can also mix in sautéed mushrooms, diced celery, or onions for a savory twist.
– Glaze: If you want to switch up the glaze for the Cornish Game Hens, try an apricot glaze or a honey mustard glaze instead of the honey and butter glaze. You can also add some chicken bouillon cubes to the glaze for a richer flavor.
– Vegetables: To make this dish even heartier, you can add in some chopped vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, or broccoli to the rice casserole.
– Meat: If you can’t find Cornish Game Hens or prefer a different protein, you can substitute chicken breasts or thighs in this recipe. Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this recipe your own!
Serving and Pairing
This Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake recipe is a perfect main dish to serve for a special occasion or a family dinner. Once the dish is out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. You can either serve the hens whole or slice them in half for a more elegant presentation.
The game hens rice bake is already a complete meal by itself, but if you want to add more side dishes, I suggest serving it with a green salad or roasted vegetables such as carrots, asparagus, or brussels sprouts. The refreshing taste of the salad or the sweetness of the roasted vegetables will complement the savory flavor of the Cornish game hens and rice stuffing.
If you’re planning to serve this dish for a special occasion, you can pair it with a light red wine such as Pinot Noir or a dry white wine like Chardonnay. The fruity and acidic flavor of the wine will balance the richness of the dish.
For a non-alcoholic option, you can serve it with sparkling cider or a lemonade with a hint of ginger. The bubbly and refreshing taste of the sparkling cider will lift the flavors of the dish, while the ginger in the lemonade will add a subtle spice that will complement the sweetness of the glazed Cornish game hens.
Overall, this Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake recipe is a versatile dish that can be served any time of the year. Its savory and sweet flavors make it a crowd-pleaser, and its elegant presentation makes it perfect for a special occasion.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
This Cornish game hens and rice bake recipe is perfect for meal prep and can be made ahead of time. You can prepare the rice stuffing and stuff the hens a day before and store them in the fridge. Just remember to take them out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, place the hens and rice in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. You can also reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
If you want to freeze the hens and rice, make sure to let them cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, defrost them overnight in the fridge and then follow the reheating instructions above.
Keep in mind that the texture of the rice may change after freezing and reheating, so it’s best to consume the leftovers within a few days. But trust me, this dish is so delicious that you won’t have any leftovers to worry about!
Tips for Perfect Results
Ensuring that your Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe turns out perfectly can be a challenging task. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your efforts.
1. Properly Season the Hens
The seasoning of your Cornish game hens may be the most crucial aspect of this recipe. The key is to be generous with salt and other seasonings like honey or chicken bouillon cubes.
2. Use the Right Wild Rice Mix
The wild rice mix you use should be of excellent quality to achieve the desired results. I recommend using a blend of brown and wild rice, which will give the dish a nutty flavor and the perfect texture.
3. Cook the Hens at the Right Temperature
It’s essential to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F before placing the hens inside. Roasting Cornish game hens at the right temperature ensures that they are cooked to perfection and come out tender and juicy.
4. Stuff the Hens with Rice
To give the dish a unique flavor, stuff the hens with wild rice stuffing. Ensure that you pack the stuffing tightly inside the hens and leave no empty space. This will help to keep the hens moist and flavorful.
5. Baste the Hens
Basting your hens with a glaze or olive oil during cooking is a great way to keep them moist and flavorful. Brush the hens with your preferred glaze or oil every 20 minutes while they cook.
6. Test for Doneness
An instant-read thermometer is an essential tool when cooking hens. To ensure that they are fully cooked, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and check the temperature. The internal temperature should be between 165-175 degrees F.
By following these tips, you will ensure that your Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe turns out perfectly. You can experiment with different stuffing recipes, glazes, and seasonings to find your perfect dish.
As with any recipe, there may be some questions that come up during the cooking process. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers for this Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake recipe. So, let’s get started!
How long does it take to bake a Cornish hen at 400 degrees?
For those looking to cook Cornish game hens, I recommend roasting them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. This cooking technique ensures that the hens come out perfectly cooked with a crispy skin.
To ensure that the Cornish game hens are fully cooked and safe to eat, it’s essential to measure the temperature of the thickest portion using an instant-read meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to create a delicious and safe meal for your family and friends.
What is the difference between a chicken and a Cornish game hen?
When it comes to cooking, Cornish hens are a great choice due to their youthful age at butchering. This results in meat that is typically more tender than that of a standard chicken.
Do you cook Cornish hens breast side up or down?
To prepare the hen for roasting, first place it on a rack with the breast side facing upwards in a shallow roasting pan. Then, roast it uncovered and baste it frequently with butter. Cook for approximately one hour, or one hour and 15 minutes if the hen weighs over 1lb 2oz. To ensure that the hen is fully cooked, use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature at the inner thigh reaches 180°F.
What pairs well with Cornish hen?
As a chef, I always aim to make sure that my dishes are well-balanced in terms of flavor and texture. When it comes to serving a savory Cornish hen, it’s important to pair it with a starchy side dish that can complement its richness. Some great options to consider are mushroom rice, glazed carrots, roasted red potatoes, scalloped potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, dinner rolls, and fresh salad. Each of these sides brings a unique flavor and texture to the table, making them great options to choose from.
In conclusion, this Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe is a perfect dish for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner. The combination of the succulent Cornish game hens with the aromatic wild rice stuffing is a match made in heaven. The dish is easy to prepare and can be customized according to your preference. Moreover, it can be made ahead of time and reheated, making it a convenient option for busy weeknights.
So, whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice cook, this recipe is a must-try. Impress your guests or treat your family to a delicious and hearty meal that they will love. With its sweet and savory flavors and tender juicy hens, this dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
So, what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen, gather your ingredients, and get cooking. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.
Cornish Game Hens and Rice Bake Recipe
- 3 Cornish hens (12 to 16 ounces each)
- 6 ounces white and wild rice mix
- 2 tablespoons onions, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained
- 2 cups water
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. I spray 13 x 9 glass baking dish with Pam (recipe does not call for it).
- Using kitchen shears or sharp knife, cut game hens in half lengthwise through breastbone.
- In 13 x 9 glass baking dish combine rice mix, onion, celery and mushrooms.
- Heat water and dissolve bouillon; stir into rice mixture.
- Dot with butter.
- Place game hens cut side down over rice.
- Brush with 1 tablespoon honey.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover, brush with remaining honey.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes longer or until tender and brown.
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Lucy is a mom who loves to cook up a storm. She enjoys discovering, collecting, and experimenting with delicious, healthy recipes for her blog. With her passion for cooking, Lucy is always coming up with her own unique creations to share with the world.