Game hens are one of the easiest birds to roast and stuff.
That's because the stuffing reaches the required temperature at about the same time the birds are done roasting. The stuffing component in this recipe produces a moist, tangy-sweet and nutty combination featuring grapes and almonds.
ROASTED GAME HENS WITH SPICED GRAPE AND ALMOND DRESSING
4 large game hens (about 1½ lbs each)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup minced onion
4 cups dried, cubed bread
1 1/2 cups chopped red seedless California grapes
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup whole toasted almonds, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves Salt and pepper for seasoning the outside of the hens.
Remove any giblets. Clean the hens and pat them dry, inside and out.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Slowly cook the onion until it is translucent and sweet, about 6 minutes. Cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked onion, bread cubes, grapes, chicken stock, egg, almonds and spices. Mix well. Stuff the birds with the dressing mixture. Season the outside of the hens with plenty of salt and pepper and arrange them in one or two roasting pans, making sure that there is at least an inch of space between each bird for even browning.
Roast the hens for one hour and 15 minutes. After one hour of cooking, baste the birds with any pan drippings. Continue to cook until the internal temperature of the stuffing reaches 165°F. If the birds start to get too brown, tent them with aluminum foil.
When done, remove the cooked hens from the pan and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve.
To serve the stuffing as a separate side dish, pat the dressing into a lightly greased loaf pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. For a crisp top, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
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