Cornish Hens Stuffed with Cornbread Stuffing

By Ina Garten, "Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again"

Ingredients

Cornbread:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Stuffing:
5 cups cornbread
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery (about 5 stalks)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chicken stock (homemade or store bought)

Cornish Hens:
4 cornish hens (1 1/4- 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cups sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Cornbread:
To make your own homemade cornbread, begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  Grease an 8-inch pan.  Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Then stir in the milk, oil, and beaten egg.  Mix until combined.  Pour batter into your pan and bake for 18-23 minutes or until light and golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Stuffing:
To make your stuffing, start with finely dicing your onions, celery, and roughly chopping the parsley.  Melt 1 stick of butter in a medium sized saute pan.  Add the onions and saute over medium/low heat for about 8 minutes or until translucent.  Take your cornbread and crumble it with your hands into a large bowl, making sure it is crumbled into large pieces. Off of the stove top, add your sauteed onions in butter, celery, parsley, and chicken stock to the cornbread.  Gently stir until well mixed and set aside until it is time to stuff your cornish hens.

Cornish Hens:
Remove the cornish hens from its package.  Wash them inside and out, remove any extra feathers, and set aside.  Roughly chop your onions and lay in an oven safe pan that is large enough to hold your cornish hens.  Salt and pepper the chickens inside and out and lay them on top of the onions.  The chickens should be breast side up with chicken legs facing up.  Take your cornbread stuffing and fill the inside of your chicken.  Make sure to bake any extra stuffing in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until sizzling.  The stuffing must have sufficient time to bake so that any salmonella from contact with the raw chicken is cooked off.  Lay your chickens back down, breast side up, and tuck the wings under the bodies.  Tie your chicken with cooking string to secure the stuffing.  Tie it by lifting the chicken legs up and twisting the string around the ends, then tying the string into a tight and secure knot.  Brush the chicken with melted butter and bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the skin is browned and the juices run clear.  Check the juices by cutting next to the leg bone.  If the juice is pink, continue to cook.  If it runs clear, your chicken is done.  As soon as you remove the chicken from the oven, cover with foil and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Serve over the roasted onions with extra cornbread stuffing.


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