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Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens

Rated as 4.83 out of 5 Stars

"If you've never worked with game hens before, they're very user-friendly. Even stuffed to excess, they only roast for about an hour in a hot oven, and as long as you don't overcook them (use a thermometer!), you'll be enjoying the kind of juicy, flavorful meat that people cooking turkey only dream of."
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2 h 15 m servings 549
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Toast bread in the preheated oven until golden, crispy, and completely dry, 20 to 40 minutes. Transfer bread to a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir shallots and green onions with a pinch of salt in hot butter until shallots are translucent and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add dried cranberries to shallots; cook and stir until cranberries are warmed through, 2 o 3 minutes.
  4. Pour chicken broth into skillet; bring broth mixture to a simmer and pour mixture over dried bread cubes. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Season with chopped thyme, minced rosemary, sage, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix beaten egg into bread mixture, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stuffing sit until liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  6. Drizzle the bottom of a roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil and lay thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Generously season each hen cavity with salt. Stuff each hen with about 1/2 the bread-cranberry mixture. Tie legs together and set into prepared roasting pan on top of thyme and rosemary sprigs. Brush hens with remaining olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  8. Bake hens in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove hens to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Stir chicken broth, fresh cranberries, and maple syrup into the pan and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until sauce reduces and thickens, 1 to 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over stuffed hens.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 549 calories; 38.1 26 25.8 197 297 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 18
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I did as instructed by with a few changes.. Instead of just putting dried herbs under the hen, I added some chicken stock, chardonnay, and apple cider to the bottom of my roasting pan and basted...

I had it last night for thanksgiving, it was perfect! I just did the sauce a little thicker, otherwise, I followed the recipe closely. It was very tasteful, well seasoned, nice blend of flavors....

OMG!!! Amazing... and gorgeous!! My foodie photo post got TONS of love and I was told it belonged in a! Thank you Chef John and allrecipes! You make me look goooooood! #HappyThank...

I made this tonight. This recipe deserves 10 out of 5 stars!!! I did add a bit of dry white wine to the reduction, but other than that,I stayed true to the recipe. It is a recipe that I'll mak...

This was a very savory and delicious recipe. I served the Cornish Hens and Cranberry Stuffing with Maple Sauce along with mashed potatoes and tangy French-cut green beans. Umm Umm Good! The onl...

This was very good. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it wasn't as amazing as I expected it to be. It was actually pretty easy to prepare, but it took me at least an hour to prep everythi...

Impressively beautiful and presents extremely well! Delicious and easy to make! I followed the recipe exactly as written without any modifications. I even made walnut bread from scratch for the ...

I made this for some picky eaters and everyone loved every part! I added 2Tbsp of white wine to the sauce which was nice. I think I'd do that again if I were to remake it.

The hens were perfect, tender and juicy. The starring was a bit to dry and not to my taste. But I’ lol definitely be eating game hen in the future!!