Nicole Desender
Prep Time
Cook Time
Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 1tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 8ounces rye breadabout 1/2 loaf or so
  • 1/2 small leekwhite and light green parts only, rinsed well and sliced into half-moons
  • 4ounces cremini mushroomswiped clean and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clovefinely chopped
  • 1tablespoon fresh sagefinely chopped
  • 1tablespoon fresh flat- leaf parsleychopped
  • 1tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2teaspoon thymedried
  • 3/4cup chicken brothlow-sodium
  • ground pepper & kosher saltfreshly
Everything Else
  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butterroom temperature
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher salt
  • 1 kitchen twine
  1. Combine brine ingredients in container large enough to submerge 2 Cornish game hens, and brine overnight.
  2. Discard brine and pat game hens – inside and out – as dry as possible with paper towels.
  3. Toast rye bread in toaster or in oven until light brown and dry. Dice toasted bread and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in skillet, and sauté mushrooms, leek, and garlic until soft, then add to bowl with all other stuffing ingredients. Combine well, adding additional chicken broth if stuffing seems too dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spoon stuffing into hens, and truss with kitchen twine. Slip 1 tablespoon of butter underneath the skin of each hen, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place hens on roasting rack and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting, about 25 minutes more, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into hens’ thighs and stuffing reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Transfer hens to plate, and let rest before serving.