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.
Indulge in a delightful culinary experience with our Roasted Cornish Hens with Rice Hashwa recipe. This elegant dish, a favorite from my mom’s kitchen, is perfect for special occasions or when guests come over. Cornish hens, tender and delicate, take center stage alongside classic Middle Eastern accompaniments like yogurt cucumber salad, Salata Arabia, and Fattouch Salad.
This dish is known as Farooj mahshi in the Middle East and is traditionally prepared with stuffed Cornish hens. Our version offers a twist by preparing the traditional Middle Eastern stuffing separately. It features a delightful blend of ground lamb, toasted nuts, and fresh peas.
Cornish hens have a distinct advantage in requiring significantly less cooking time than regular chickens, nearly half as long. This not only makes this meal convenient but also expedites the preparation process. For that flawless finishing touch, we delicately brush these hens with ghee in the final five minutes of cooking, imparting a luscious caramelized hue and achieving an irresistibly crispy skin.
Ingredients for Roasted Cornish Hen
- Cornish Hens: Cornish hens, with their tender and succulent meat, serve as the centerpiece, absorbing the rich blend of spices and flavors during roasting.
- Spice Bundle: Sweet paprika, baharat, salt, and pepper unite to form a harmonious spice blend, imparting warmth and depth to the Cornish hens.
- Ghee or clarified butter contributes a rich and buttery essence, enhancing the overall taste.
For the Lamb and Beef Stuffing:
- Ground lamb and beef create a flavorful and hearty stuffing for the Cornish hens.
- Fresh or frozen peas add a burst of sweetness and vibrant color to the stuffing.
- Basmati rice, soaked and drained, provides a delicate texture and absorbs the aromatic spices.
- Onion, toasted pine nuts, and slivered almonds add layers of flavor and a satisfying crunch to the stuffing.
- Aromatic Spice Blend: Salt, black pepper, ground cumin, ground cardamom, Aleppo pepper, ground cinnamon, baharat, and hewaja (or a blend of curry and turmeric) form a fragrant and complex seasoning.
Where Can I Buy Cornish Hen
You can readily find fresh Cornish hens in high-end markets; however, they come with a slightly higher price tag. Alternatively, frozen Cornish hens are widely available in the markets if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option available at tr. To prepare frozen Cornish hens for cooking, transfer them to the refrigerator for a day or two until completely defrosted.
To Prepare The Cornish Hens
- The hens are first washed and dried before being marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, and the spice mixture, ensuring the flavors penetrate both the inside and outside of the hens.
- Tying the legs together helps maintain the shape of the hens while cooking.
- Let the hens be marinated for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
The roasted Cornish hens undergo a two-step cooking process for optimum results. First, they are gently cooked while covered for 30 minutes. Subsequently, they are uncovered and placed under the broiler for 15 minutes. This broiling stage is crucial as it imparts a beautiful caramelized color and ensures crisp skin. The recommended internal temperature for the hens is 165°F.
This dish is typically presented on a large platter, with the fluffed-up rice forming the base and the Cornish hens arranged all around. Toasted pine nuts and slivered almonds are sprinkled over the hens and rice, providing a delightful toasted and nutty flavor. Consider garnishing with fresh herbs like parsley or mint to enhance the presentation.
Side Dish Suggestions with Roasted Cornish Hen
For a well-rounded meal, consider these delectable side dishes to complement the Cornish hen with rice stuffing:
- Yogurt Sauce: A creamy and tangy yogurt sauce contrasts the rich flavors of Cornish hen and rice stuffing. Its coolness balances the dish’s warmth.
- Salata Arabia (Arab Salad): This vibrant salad bursts with fresh flavors and crunchy textures, offering a refreshing accompaniment to the savory Cornish hen. Its zesty dressing adds a delightful twist to each bite.
- Middle Eastern Salads: Explore a variety of Middle Eastern salads, such as tabbouleh and fattoush.
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