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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cornish Hens

I have a confession: I used to think that coupons were all about clipping lots of tiny little ads out of newspapers that you had to have on you at all times to use them on a shopping trip and eating only pre-packaged processed meals. I never used to meal plan, so it would require tons of trips to the grocery store. With a mix of watching Extreme Couponing and wanting to save time and money, I have become coupon savy while planning my weekly menu. I have learned that coupons aren't just clipable (even though the blisters on my thumb would say otherwise.) Stores also offer specials in the store like buy one get one free specials. If you have a coupon for these items, you still use two of them since you are buying two items and get the discount (and doubling) on both. I would normally spend about $130 for a very bare cart that included dog food and dinners for the week. That was it. My last grocery trip ended in an overflowing cart that cost me only twenty dollars more and has started a stockpile of items.

I also thought that coupons would mean having to give up a little bit of control over my kitchen and cook with things that I've never tried before. It is my choice to prepare my family meals, but I do have packs of rice, mashed potatoes, and a few boxed meals for those nights when I just don't have enough energy. 

One of my store deals was cornish hens. $3 for 2. $1.50 a piece? A hen for each of us? $3? I could not pass them up even though I had absolutely no idea what to do with them. So...I typed cornish hen in my What's for Dinner app and let the search begin. This recipe came up and was super simple. The cornbread stuffing was amazing. This is one dish that I definitely will be making again. It is so comforting to know that couponing does not have to mean giving up ingredients in the kitchen.

Ingredients - Cornish Hens1 large Spanish onion, sliced
2 Cornish hens
Corn bread stuffing
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients - Cornbread Stuffing4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups cornbread
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leafparsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

While waiting for the oven to heat, prepare the cornbread stuffing. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Break the cornbread into pieces and place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture to the cornbread. Add the celery, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix together.
Place the sliced onion in the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove the giblets from the hens, and rinse them inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outsides dry. Place the hens on top of the sliced onion.

Pack the cavities of the hens with the cornbread stuffing.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the hens. Rub the hens with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the hens for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Source:  adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

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