Active Time
40 MIN
Total Time
2 HR 30 MIN
Serves : 4

Small, flavorful Cornish hens, roasted to a caramel brown and stuffed with buttery porcini-flecked arborio rice, make for a terrific, simple dinner-party meal.    Amazing Chicken Recipes  

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a heatproof bowl, cover the dried porcini with the boiling water and let stand until the mushrooms are softened, about 15 minutes.

Step 2    

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the rice and simmer over moderate heat until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice; reserve the broth in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Step 3    

In the same saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion, celery and celery leaves and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the porcini. Add them to the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour in 1/4cup of the mushroom-soaking liquid; reserve the rest. Add the rice to the saucepan along with the cheese, season with salt and pepper and stir well.

Step 4    

Put the Cornish hens in a medium flameproof roasting pan. Stuff the cavities with the rice; you will have about 1 cup of stuffing left over. Wrap the remaining rice in a foil packet. Spread the 1 tablespoon of softened butter over both hens' breasts and legs and season the hens inside and out with salt and pepper.

Step 5    

Roast the hens in the upper third of the oven until nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer the hens to a platter and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Bake the foil packet of stuffing until hot, about 10 minutes.

Step 6    

Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over moderately high heat. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Add in the reserved rice-cooking broth. Pour in the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, 10 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and pour it into a warmed gravy boat.

Step 7    

Using a sharp, heavy knife, cut the hens in half and arrange on a platter, stuffing side down. Pass the gravy at the table along with the extra rice stuffing.

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