Rock Cornish Hens

Here is a recipe that Mom and I developed quite a few years ago. We always served this on Christmas Eve for dinner. You can easily increase the recipe to serve more people. Mom and I always allowed 1 hen per person, so we usually made 5 hens.

Rock Cornish Hens a la Mom and Me
serves two

2 Rock Cornish Hens - thawed and cleaned
1/2 tsp salt
scant 1/2 tsp sage
a little garlic powder (to taste - I use about 1/8 tsp because I don’t like much garlic flavor)
scant 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate - thawed

2 Tbsp blanched slivered almonds
1/3 cup raw long grain rice
2 Tbsp finely chopped onions
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup water
1 chicken broth cube
1 1/2 tsp orange juice concentrate - thawed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms - sauteed (or use one 3 ounce can)

6 thick slices of Navel Orange - cut in half
dash of ground cloves

Make stuffing first: Saute almonds, onions, and rice in butter about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add water, chicken cube, orange juice concentrate, orange zest and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the cube. Turn heat down , cover and simmer 20 minutes - until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy. Remove from heat and stir in the sauteed mushrooms. Lightly stuff the cleaned hens.

Prepare the hens for the oven: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the1/3 cup of butter in a shallow roasting pan and let it melt in the oven while you prepare the hens. Truss the stuffed hens. Combine the salt, sage, garlic powder, nutmeg and lemon juice - rub this mixture all over the hens. Place the hens, breast side up, in the melted butter and roast 30 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes with the pan drippings. Pour the thawed 1/2 cup of orange juice concentrate over the hens. Roast another 35 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, or longer until the hens are tender and golden.

Prepare the garnish while the hens are roasting: Saute the orange slices in the butter and the dash of cloves until warm and slightly browned.

Serve the hens: Place the hens on a serving platter. Pour the pan juices over the hens. Decorate the hens and the platter with the orange slices. Serve with veggies and a salad for a complete meal.