When everyone was busy baking big turkey on Thanksgiving Day, I had a different thought and bought a small Cornish Hen from grocery store. Cornish game hens are the perfect answer to roasted chicken for two. One hen which is divided in half and can serve two persons and you won’t see any leftovers. Doesn't it sound awesome for dinner menu of a small family?
I marinated it with some Indian spices and stuffed with some cooked minced turkey. It is then browned on both sides and slowly cooked until it becomes tender and juicy. Wow! It came out super yummy! It doesn't merely add a touch of elegance to your dinner table; this roasted Cornish hen is moist and full of flavors. You can select stuffing based on your choice and whatever your family or guests like. I used turkey stuffing because my husband prefers the same compared to other meats. Instead of usual Italian seasoning, I made it with some Indian spices to add more taste.
You can try the same recipe with chicken too. This kind of roasted chicken/turkey is my son and hubby's favorite. So whenever I feel tired to make something heavy dishes, I buy this one from our nearest grocery for them. Since long time, I was curious about roasting the whole chicken, but I used to get nervous after seeing the size. I was always in doubt if I would be able to handle it properly and how the end product would come out. Eventually I realized that it’s not a big task and anyone can do it without much expertise. So bookmark the recipe for next Thanksgiving Day and get a break from age old Turkey dinner.
Recipe of Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hen : Serves 3
Hen / Chicken : 1 1/2 lb
for first marination :
Lime juice : 2 tbsp
Ginger paste : 1 tsp
Garlic paste : 1 tsp
Kashmiri Red chili powder : 1 tsp
Black pepper powder : 1tsp
For stuffing and 2nd marination :
Minced turkey / chicken : 1 cup around 1/2 lb
Onion : 1 big one and one small ( finely chopped)
Ginger : 1 tsp ( paste )
Garlic : 1 tbsp ( paste )
Tomato : 1 medium sized chopped
Butter + white oil : 2 + 2 tbsp
Green Cardamom : 2
Cinnamon : 1 inch stick
Cloves : 2
Red chili powder / or chopped green chilies : as per tolerance
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
yogurt : 1/2 cup
Boiled egg : 1
Extra oil for brushing
1. Wash and pat dry the whole chicken. Prick the chicken with fork and add lime juice, kashmiri red chili powder, ginger - garlic paste, black pepper powder and salt. Rub them all over the chicken / hen, under the skin and in the cavity.
2. Take a pan, add 2 tbsp butter / oil and heat it up. Add cracked cardamom, cinnamon and cloves to the pan. Once they start to splatter, add the chopped onion, saute it. Once onion turns to golden in color, add the ginger and garlic paste. Keep stirring until raw smell goes off.
3. Add chopped green chilies / red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well until oil starts to separate from the spices. Now take half of the spice mixture off from the pan and set it aside.
4. Add tomato to the pan, once tomato becomes soft, add the minced turkey / chicken to the pan. Stir it and mix it well with the remaining spices.
5. Stir it and let it cook until minced turkey / chicken is cooked. Add salt and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes thicken and dry. Switch off the gas and let it cool down.
6. Now take a bender, add the spice mix ( that you kept it aside ) and the yogurt then make a paste.
7. Take out the hen / chicken from the first marinade and rub the paste all over the chicken gently. Wrap it tightly with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit for overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours.
8. Now Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F . Take out the chicken again from marinade and stuff the minced turkey in the cavity. Take the boiled egg and carefully slit the outer area length-wise. Put the egg too in the cavity and tie the legs and tuck it in.
9. Place the chicken on a baking dish and put it in the oven. Basting occasionally with the leftover marinade and let it cook for 25 minutes for each sides or until it is done. Once chicken is almost done drizzle few drops of butter and broil it at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes for each sides. Serve hot with some roasted veggies or with Spicy Cranberry Sauce.