Impress your guests with stuffed Cornish hens filled with spiced lamb and fluffy rice. Each bite is a heavenly combination of savory flavors and textures that will leave them raving.
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This Cornish hen recipe is an elegant meal my mom used to serve on special occasions or when guests come over. Cornish hen is a tender, delicate, small chicken best suited alongside yogurt cucumber salad, Salata Arabia, and Fattouch Salad.
In Arabic, this dish is called Farooj mahshi, which translates to stuffed Cornish hens. When I make this dish, I make the traditional Middle Eastern stuffing on the side. The filling is made with ground lamb, toasted nuts, and fresh peas.
Cornish hens take almost half the time to cook compared to regular chickens, making this meal quick and easy to prepare. During the last five minutes of cooking, I brush them with ghee to give them caramelized color and crispy skin.
This is a perfect meal to treat your family or guests to a special dinner. You spent hours preparing this. After just one bite of this dish, your guests will be raving about it for weeks! They will think and be impressed with your cooking skills. For elaborate meals, you may want to try The Roasted Chicken with Za’atar, and Sumac is a perfect choice if you want to eat chicken.
What is a Cornish Hen?
A Cornish hen is a small chicken originating from Cornwall in England. Although they are also known as Cornish game hens, they are not game birds. Instead, they are farmed like regular chickens. Because of this, they have a relatively mild and delicate flavor and do not taste gamey.
Cornish hens are a mix of two chicken breeds: Indian game chicken and White Plymouth Rock. These two breeds are both full-sized chickens that are commonly eaten.
Even though Cornish hens are delicious and the perfect size, they are unfortunately highly underrated. They can mature to become full-sized chickens but tend to be eaten younger than regular chickens, making them smaller. A typical Cornish hen only weighs about two pounds. Their small sizes usually mean one or two people can eat an entire hen alone.
Where Can I Buy Cornish Hen
You can find fresh Cornish hens in high-end markets, but they are a bit pricey! Alternatively, you can purchase frozen ones at a more affordable price at traditional markets. They should be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two until they defrost.
How to Cook this dish
Make your next special occasion one to remember with the perfect main course: delicious Cornish hens! Whether you’re looking to stuff them with your favorite ingredients or simply roast, grill, or braise them, these birds are incredibly versatile. Furthermore, stuffing the hens with festive ingredients makes an impressive presentation and adds flavor to the dish. Check the internal temperature and ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. Ultimately, whichever cooking method you choose, the result is bound to be mouth-watering and unforgettable!
Drizzle the Cornish hens with olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, and a small amount of Bharat. Then, cross the legs and tie them together.
Let them marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.
Brush the Cornish hens with one tablespoon of ghee and turn on the broiler in your oven. Brown the Cornish hens under the broiler to caramelize color for about 3 minutes. Make sure the Cornish hens have an internal temperature of 165 F.
Add the ground meats and break them apart with a wooden spoon.
Add the chopped onion, and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add the spices and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to low and simmer until the rice absorbs all the water for about 25 minutes; turn off the heat and keep the lid closed for another 15 minutes.
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Impress your guests with stuffed Cornish hens filled with spiced lamb and fluffy rice. Each bite is a heavenly combination of savory flavors and textures that will leave them raving. Don’t miss out on serving this unforgettable meal!
|6 Cornish hens|
|2 lemons (juiced)|
|1 tablespoon sweet paprika|
|2 tablespoons baharat|
|1 tablespoon Ghee or clarified butter|
|salt and pepper to taste|
For the Rice Stuffing:
|half-pound of ground lamb and a half-pound of ground beef|
|2 cups peas (either fresh or frozen)|
|2 cups basmati rice (washed and soaked in warm water for 25 minutes and drained )|
|1 onion (chopped)|
|½ cup toasted pine nuts|
|½ cup toasted slivered almond|
|1 tablespoon salt|
|1 teaspoon black pepper|
|1 tablespoon ground cumin|
|2 teaspoons ground cardamom|
|1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper|
|1 tablespoon ground cinnamon|
|1 tablespoon baharat|
|1 tablespoon hewaja (substitute with 1 teaspoon curry and 1 teaspoon turmeric)|
|2 tablespoons olive oil|
|1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter|
|4 cups chicken stock or water|
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
How to store and reheat Cornish hens:
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