I absolutely love Cornish game hens. They make me feel like royalty – we’ve all seen the movies where the King is sitting at the head of his huge dining table, gnawing on the leg of some type of fowl or another. Kind of gross, right? Kind of gross and totally awesome! A glutton’s delight! My Mom used to make Game Hens every now and again, and it was always such a treat. A whole (OK, usually half) bird all to myself!! I loved it. And I still do!
So yesterday when I was digging through my cookbooks, I found this recipe from Paula Deen for “Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hens Stuffed With Wild Rice” and I knew that it was on. Oh, it was so on.
Now I really don’t like rice, and normally don’t keep any on hand at the house, so I skipped that part. But that’s just me, and I’m a little strange…so I’ll go ahead and include the whole recipe – rice and all – in case you want it. Instead of the rice, I served my chickens with yellow squash and peas sauteed in olive oil. And croissants. Cause you just can’t have roasted chicken without croissants. Not at my house you can’t, anyhow.
These chickens turned out soooo good – sweet and peppery and lemony with a crispy skin….totally awesome. Even David highly approved, which is saying something since he is a hard-core beef man.
For dessert, I made one of my favorite cupcakes – Betty Crocker’s Dalmation Cupcakes. They have a chocolate devil’s food cake base, with a chocolate chip cream cheese filling. They are totally easy, since the only thing you make “from scratch” is the cream cheese filling, but they are unique and look (and taste!) like you spent a lot of time on them. Plus they’re delicious. Hooray!
So without further ado, the recipes:
Paula Deen’s Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hens Stuffed With (Or Without) Wild Rice
-2/3 cup light corn syrup or honey (I used the corn syrup. LOVED how this turned out)
–2 tablespoons apple juice
–2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (I don’t have a zester. Or any kind of grater for that matter. So I used a paring knife and shaved off some bits. Definitely nowhere near 2 tbsps worth. But it still rocked.)
Wild Rice Stuffing Ingredients:
-1/4 cup (or 1/2 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter
-1 small onion, minced
-1 carrot, diced
-1 small celery stalk, diced
-4 cups chicken broth (canned is fine)
-1 bay leaf
-Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, chopped (discard stems) (what in the world? I am so glad I skipped the rice!)
–Kosher or sea salt
-3/4 cup wild rice
-1 cup white rice
Other Stuff You Will Need:
–Butter (or whatever greasing agent you prefer. I prefer BUTTAH!)
-4 Rock Cornish Game Hens (3/4 lbs each is preferable, but may be up to 1 lb) – (I only made 2 small chickens since there’s just me and Dave. So we had lots of glaze left over since I forgot to half that.)
–Garlic salt (I used what I had – garlic powder. then added kosher salt)
–Seasoned Salt (Mmm…love me some Lawry’s!)
–4 lemon slices (or one per chicken)
-To prepare the glaze: combine all of the glaze ingredients ina small bowl. Set aside.
-To prepare the stuffing: melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan and saute the onion, carrot and celery until soft but not brown. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil. When the vegetables are cooked, add the bay leaf, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, wild rice, and 2 cups of the boiling broth. Cook covered over medium -low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done. Stir several times to make sure the rice is not sticking. Remove from the heat and allow the rice to sit for 30 minutes to absorb liquid.
-In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the white rice, remaining 2 cups boiling broth, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook the white rice over low heat about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
-When the rices are cooked, drain off any extra broth, fluff with a fork, and remove the bay leaf from the wild rice. Combine the rices, and add salt and pepper to taste.
-To prepare the hens: Preheat the oven to 350°F (or if you make Dalmation Cupcakes with this meal like I did, your oven will already be set to 350!). Greaste a baking dish large enough to hold the hens. If using whole hens, remove the giblets and necks (yuuuuck, I hate handling chicken!). Rinse the hens, inside and out, with cold water and pat dry.
-Lightly season, inside and out, with a mixture of garlic salt, seasoned salt and pepper. Place a lemon slice inside each hen and stuff lightly with the rice mixture. Place the remaining rice mixture in a microwavable dish, to be warmed later. Tuck the wing tips of the hens back under the breast and tie the legs together with kitchen string (totally unnecessary…I skipped this step and nothing terrible happened. Maybe it’s different if you actually stuff them with rice. So if you’re doing that, you might want to ignore me and tie those legs).
-Place the hens in the prepared baking dish, and roast for approximately 1 1/4 hours (I only made two chickens and I still cooked them for 1 1/4 hours and they turned out perfect. So I’m thinking if you actually make 4 chickens, you will need to cook them longer. But what do I know? Not much, that’s what!) or until a leg can be moved easily up and down.
-Brush with the glaze about 15 minutes before the cooking time is complete and again after removing the hens from the oven. Let the hens stand for 5 minutes before serving.
-To serve, warm the rice in the microwave. Spoon enough rice onto each of four dinner plates to make a bed for the hens. Place a hen on top of the rice.
–ENJOYYYYY. Tonight, you eat like royalty!
OK, now for the good stuff! On to the cupcakes (and lots more photos…it’s totally obvious that I prefer baking to cooking “real” food. Secret’s out!)
Betty Crocker’s Dalmation Cupcakes
-6 oz cream cheese, softened
-1/3 cup sugar
–1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
-1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist (or your favorite brand) chocolate devil’s food cake mix
-1 1/3 cups water
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1 Container Whipped Vanilla frosting (Or whatever you prefer. I used Betty Crocker’s whipped whip cream frosting today…loooooooooved it!)
–1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
-Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 25 regular-size muffin cups.
-In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and 1 egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips; set aside.
-In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and 3 eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter among muffin cups (1/4 cup in each). Top each with 1 heaping teaspoon cream cheese mixture.
-Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool completely.
-Frost with frosting. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Store loosely covered in refrigerator
LAFKLC (Like A Fat Kid Loves Cake),