Recipe: Christmas Cornish Game Hen with Fois Gras Stuffing.

A few years ago when I lived in Calgary my ex and I had a Christmas dinner with a few friends who were also spending the holidays away from their families. I decided to go all out on dinner and I created one of the best things I’ve ever made.  Today, with lots of time before christmas you get the recipe. Over the next month I will be releasing seasonal favourites.

The Cornish Game Hen is a hybrid of a Cornish Chicken and any other type of chicken and is slaughtered young (smaller than 2.5 lbs). They more or less taste like a chicken they are just miniature. What is great about them is that they take a very short amount of time to cook, they are a perfect single serving, and it’s really cool to present to your guests a full bird on their plate. They also seem to have just enough room for a nice portion of stuffing*.

The Stuffing

Ingredients:

Bread Crumbs (Coarsely ground and oven toasted with butter, thyme and rosemary)

Shallot (Fine Dice)

Garlic (Diced)

1/2 cup Softened Butter

8 oz Fois Gras(Cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

1/2 cup Dried Apricots (thinly slice)

Pinch of Sea Salt

Black Pepper(Ground)

Directions: In a pan on medium heat add some olive oil and sweat your shallots. Then add garlic continue to sweat. Then add the Fois Gras and brown the livers. Then the bread crumbs, allowing them to soak up the juices from the oil and fois. The add your apricots, salt and pepper. Once all of that is cooked down add your softened butter allow that to evenly melt into the dressing. Pour the dressing into a mixing bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours. This will harden the dressing into a more manageable substance for stuffing the birds.

The Bird

Ingredients:

4 Cornish Game Hens

Salt Water Solution

Butcher’s Twine

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Thyme

Olive Oil

Butter

Pre-Made Stuffing

Directions: The day before you plan to cook the hens you want to brine them in a large container full of salt water. They will spend then night taking in moisture and just enough salt to make them ultra juicy. The day of cooking remove the hens from the brine and towel dry them. Take your butter and begin to stuff the butter under then skin of the hen. This will allow the skin of the hen to really crisp but not burn. Then take your stuffing and hand stuff the bird. Then cover the bird in olive oil and rub the bird with salt, pepper, and thyme. Then truss the chicken, place the chickens on a roasting pan and put into an oven preheated to 400 degree. This should take around 45 minutes to cook but taking the internal temp of the bird is the best way to really judge the readiness(165 degrees). They should be golden brown. Let the birds sit for about 10 minutes as they will continue to cook internally then serve.

*Though this stuffing rocks and you’ll want to make more in a casserole dish.