Cornish hens are
a small but surprisingly meaty bird. They can be a little tricky to eat
with all of those small bones. We quartered our hens and removed most
of the bones in order to make these easier to eat. It really doesn't take
that long and gets easier the more you do it. We found that a kitchen
shears is the key to successful boning. You have more control and waste
less precious meat. Wash the hens thoroughly inside and out and pat dry.
Cut the hen in half through the breastbone. Spread the hen open and cut
along each side of the backbone, removing it completely. You now have
two halves. Use a knife or cleaver to cut each half into two between the
breast and the thigh. Now comes the hard part, removing all of the bones
except for the wing and leg bones. Run your thumb under the rib bones
separating them from the meat. They are fairly easy to remove, but use
the shears to snip as close to the meat as possible. Using the shears,
snip around any other bones to separate them from the meat. We removed
the tip and the first portion of the wing, leaving behind the drummy portion
of the wing. On the thigh/leg section, use the shears in the same fashion
as the breast/wing section cutting the bones away from the meat. You will
have to bend back the joint between the thigh and leg bones. Snip through
this joint with the shears removing the thighbone. When you have removed
all of the bones you desire you may wish to cut off any excess skin like
we did. This process gets easier the more you do it and makes a nice and
very easy to eat mini-meal. Remember whenever handling raw poultry to
be sure to disinfect your prep area and utensils before reusing them.
Rub the Cornish hen liberally with the BICENTENNIAL RUB. Melt the butter
and drizzle over the top of the hen. Place the pieces in a roasting pan
in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes, until the skin is golden
and crispy, occasionally basting the hen with the pan juices. In a large
skillet, heat 2 TB. drippings from the Cornish hens over medium heat.
Add sliced, cleaned mushrooms, minced onion, parsley and SAGE or POULTRY
SEASONING. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until mushrooms and onions
are golden. Add cooked, drained wild rice, toss to coat, cook 1-2 minutes
to combine the flavors, add salt to taste, serve with golden Cornish hens.
Prep. time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Wild Rice is a flavorful accompaniment to roast pork or chicken, too,
but because it is expensive (especially if you don't live close to Minnesota),
it is perfect for special occasions. Wild rice should be cooked gently,
and will triple in size during cooking--1 Cup dry will make 3-4 Cups cooked.
To prepare, rinse rice off, place in a large covered pot with enough water
to cover by a few inches. Add 2 TURKISH BAY LEAVES and a teaspoon of CHICKEN
SOUP BASE for great flavor. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer
45-55 minutes, until rice is tender and fluffy. Drain, then add a little
butter for a side dish, or proceed with your recipe