Cornish Hens with Ham and Wild Rice Stuffing

Cornish hens are a great alternative to a full chicken. Serve half of a hen to each diner for a stunning plate.

Cornish Hens Recipe With Picture

[factoid]Rock Cornish hens were developed in the 1950’s when American breeders crossed the Cornish hen from England with the American Plymouth rock hen.[/factoid]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 11/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced cooked lower-sodium ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)


  • 1 teaspoon each dried thyme leaves and marjoram
  • leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens (1 pound each)


[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”2 hours”]

[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Place wild rice in a wire strainer. Run cold water through the rice, lifting rice with fingers to clean thoroughly. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in wild rice. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes or until most of the broth is absorbed. Drain off liquid. Meanwhile, in a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl, combine wild rice, mushroom mixture, ham, pecans (if using), thyme, marjoram, orange rind, salt, and pepper. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse hens; drain and pat dry. Remove and discard giblets and neck if present. Stuff and truss hens (page 185). Place hens, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover hens loosely with foil. Spoon remaining stuffing into a lightly greased 11/2-quart casserole; cover and refrigerate. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Roast hens for 30 minutes. Uncover hens. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes more or until hens are cooked through, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Bake the covered casserole of stuffing alongside the hens during the last 20 minutes of roasting. To serve, halve hens lengthwise, discarding skin. Serves 4. [/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]

[nutrition-info calories=”421″ calories_fat=”” fat=”14g” sat_fat=”5g” choles=”127mg” sodium=”662mg” carbs=”29g” sugars=”” protein=”45g” fiber=”2g”]


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest