Oven Baked Cornish Hens with Savory Wild Rice Recipe

I make this comfort food recipe several times a year.  We love Cornish hens--but, I have even substituted the game hens for large chicken thigh/leg quarters when I can't find Cornish hens on sale.  I am not a fan of stuffing chickens or turkeys, but this wild rice mixture could certainly be used to stuff the hens instead.  Halving the hens cuts cooking time a bit, gives me already-portioned & cut servings and the wild rice blend gets crispy around the edges of the baking dish.  Those crispy bits of rice and veggies are a family favorite!  What is my recipe for Cornish Hens with Savory Wild Rice? 

 Cornish hens with savory wild rice
Ingredients for Cornish Hens with Savory Wild Rice
2 Whole Cornish Hens, cut in half lengthwise (or 4 chicken leg/thigh quarters) and seasoned lightly with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 c. Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 c. Celery with Leaves, Chopped
8 oz. White Mushrooms, Sliced and Chopped
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
1 Boxed Long Grain & Wild Rice Mix with Seasoning Packet (Like Uncle Ben's or Reese's)
1/2 c. White Rice (in addition to the mix)
3 c. Vegetable Broth or Stock
1/2 Stick Butter, divided into 8 Pieces

Instruction for Cornish Hens with Savory Wild Rice

Preheat the Oven and Prepare a Baking Dish.  Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Prepare the Savory Wild Rice.  Melt the butter and oil into a stock pot or dutch over, heating until hot.  Add the onions, celery and mushrooms.  Saute until the onions are translucent and the celery begins to soften.  Add the rice mix and extra white rice.  Stir to coat the rice with the buttery vegetable mixture.  Add the wild rice seasoning packet, garlic powder, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Stir to combine.  Add 2 c. Vegetable Broth and bring to a boil  Reduce heat to medium and allow the rice mixture to cook, stirring occasionally.  Let the rice absorb most of the liquid.  Add one more cup of the broth and continue to cook until reduced again. 

half of a Cornish hen on long grain and wild rice
Put the Cornish Hens and Savory Wild Rice in the pan.   Pour the wild rice mixture into the prepared baking dish.  If the rice looks dry, add a 1/2 c.-1c. of water or broth.  Place the halved Cornish hens cut sides down onto the bed of rice.  All four halves should fit in some configuration into the pan.  Press the hens partway down into the rice mixture.  Place 2 pieces of butter onto each hen half.

Cover and Bake.  Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes.  Remove the foil cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes to allow the hens to brown.  The game hens should have an internal temperature of 165°F when done--or juices should run clear when pierced.

Serve.  Serve each half over a cup or so of the rice mixture. If desired, you can cut between the breast and the thigh for smaller serving sizes.  We usually serve these with biscuits or bread and butter with a green salad. 

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