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First let me just say that my house smells like heaven right now. The smell of Cornish Hen with Apple Cranberry Stuffing baking in the oven is just so amazing. The whole house smells like the holidays. Such a warm and cozy scent. Comfort food all the way.
My mom used to make Cornish Hen as a special dinner when we had company coming over. There’s just something so fancy about it. They’re so cute and delicious. Plus, it’s not something you have every day. I thought they would be perfect for Christmas dinner and since my mom and stepdad are coming over, it’s so appropriate. Mom can’t have gluten, so I made the stuffing gluten free and it’s just as good!
Cornish Hen with Apple Cranberry Stuffing is an extra special meal that your family would love for the holidays!
I used Tyson® All Natural Premium Cornish Hens for this recipe. They were easy to find at Walmart in the Meat & Poultry section.
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Start by making the stuffing. I used gluten free bread cut into cubes. Then I toasted it a bit, so the cubes would be dry.
I also chopped up apples, onions and celery. I used fresh cranberries in my test batch, but now I realize they’re not sweet enough. I wouldn’t recommend using fresh cranberries, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below to include sweetened, dried cranberries. You can still use fresh cranberries as a garnish, if you wish. They look so pretty!
To make the stuffing, combine the toasted bread cubes with the fruits and veggies. Then pour a mixture of chicken broth, egg, melted butter, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss it all together. Reserve 2 cups to stuff the 4 hens.
I really like these Tyson® All Natural Premium Cornish Hens because they’re 100% All Natural with no added hormones or steroids. Plus, there are no artificial ingredients, and they are minimally processed.
To prepare the Cornish Hens for baking, I filled them with 1/2 cup stuffing each, then brushed them with olive oil and added salt/pepper to taste. Then I tied the legs with kitchen twine. I put the 4 Cornish Hens into a greased roasting pan.
I poured the rest of the stuffing into a greased casserole dish and put it into a 400° oven with the Cornish Hens. I took the stuffing out after about 35 minutes. Then I continued to bake the hens for another 35 minutes.
Then I enjoyed the glorious aroma for the rest of the day! The Cornish Hens browned up nicely and looked beautiful on a serving plate with fresh cranberries, sliced apples and minced parsley.
Cornish Hen with Apple Cranberry Stuffing is a delicious and festive meal you can share with your family or even serve for a holiday dinner party.
Be sure to check out more delicious poultry recipes from Tyson. I’d love to hear about your favorite holiday recipe!
Cornish Hen with Apple Cranberry Stuffing
- For the hens
- 4 Cornish Hens
- Olive oil to brush on hens
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the stuffing
- 1 lb. gluten free bread cut into cubes
- 1 large apple unpeeled, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (I don't recommend fresh cranberries for the stuffing, they aren't sweet enough)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 large egg room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth room temperature
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Optional garnish - fresh cranberries sliced apple and minced fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cubed bread on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until dry and crispy, tossing the cubes around halfway through baking time.
In the large bowl, add the toasted bread, apples, cranberries, onions, and celery. Stir to combine. Whisk together the broth, butter, egg, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over bread mixture and toss to combine. Reserve 2 cups of stuffing to fill hens, then pour the rest into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Set aside while preparing hens
Turn oven up to 400°F. Season the Cornish hen cavities with a little salt and pepper, and insert 1/2 cup stuffing in each hen. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Brush hens with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in greased roasting pan. Place in preheated oven (on middle rack) along with stuffing. Bake the stuffing for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Continue roasting hens for another 30-35 minutes or until the skin is bronzed and the internal temperature in thickest part of thigh is about 180°F.