This smells so good when it's roasting! Perfect for the cooler months.
Read my Holiday/Winter 2015 issue!
You will need:
For the cornish hens:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1/2 firm ripe pear, cut widthwise, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbalespoon balsamic vinegar
7 oz French or Greek feta, crumbled
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 1 1/2-lb Cornish hens, butterflied
For the roasting pan:
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon canola oil
11/2 firm ripe pear, sliced into rounds
2 heads garlic, cut in half, top parts discarded
1/2 cup dried figs
6 small shallots
small bunch rosemary
small bunch thyme
- Preheat the oven to 475°.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
- Add shallots and sauté until translucent.
- Add figs, pear, thyme, and rosemary.
- Continue sautéing for 7–8 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and cook down until liquid has started to evaporate.
- Transfer to a bowl and fold in crumbled feta, butter, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Keep in a bowl at room temperature until ready to stuff hens.
- To prepare hens, tuck wings under breast, and carefully work your fingers under skin to create space for stuffng.
- Divide the stuffing mixture in half and gently place using a teaspoon under the skin of legs and breast of each hen.
- Lightly press to evenly distribute and maintain shape.
- Chill hens on a sheet pan until stuffing is set, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a large cast iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over high heat.
- Add sliced pears, garlic, figs, and shallots, and cook until golden. Turns pears once after 2 minutes to brown both sides.
- Once golden, place on the outer edge of a large roasting pan or oven-safe skillet.
- Add remaining tablespoon of canola oil to cast iron pan.
- Salt and pepper hens, and sear for 2 minutes, skin-side down.
- Transfer to the pan or skillet where you’ve placed the pears, garlic, figs and shallots.
- Roast for 25 minutes.
- Add rosemary and thyme sprigs and continue roasting for another 10 minutes, until skin is golden.
- Transfer hens to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes prior to cutting in half.
- Serve with roasted pears, garlic, figs, and shallots.
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