This is the perfect post to close on the Turkey Day Troubles and transition into the Christmas season. Oyster Dressing is a staple dish at my family's Christmas Dinner. My Mom's Oyster Dressing is the best! This was very good, but I would have much preferred to stuff my hens with her recipe. Only one problem - she doesn't have a recipe - it is all in her head! I am going home for Christmas so I will be sure to watch and take diligent notes so I can try to recreate it on my own.
Roasted Cornish Hens Stuffed w/ Oyster Dressing
Modified from Emeril Lagasse
- 1 pint shucked oysters and their liquor ( I chopped my oysters because they were very large but Forrest said he wishes I hadn't - next time I will leave them whole)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 5 teaspoons Essence, divided, recipe follows
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 2 cups (1-inch cubes) French bread or homemade-style white bread
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 Cornish hens
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor. Set aside.
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, the cayenne pepper, and saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until soft.
Add the bay leaf, garlic and basil, and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the green onions, oyster liquor and the bread cubes.
Stir to mix well, and remove from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl combine the bread and vegetable mixture with the oysters and cheese.
Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Set the stuffing aside as you prepare the hens.
Season each hen, both inside and out, with 1 teaspoon Essence and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place 3/4 cup of the stuffing into the cavity of each bird
and use toothpicks and twine to tie the hens so that the cavity is shut
and the legs are tucked in. Twist the wing tips behind the backs of the hens and place in a large casserole dish.
Drizzle each bird with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in the oven to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the cavity of the hens registers 165 degrees F, about 1 hour.