Saturday, September 3, 2011
Bread Stuffing For Roast Cornish Game Hens
Here it is, Oct 2012, I noticed this post getting a considerable amount of hits in the past month or so. I decided to re-read the recipe for exactness and found I never posted one! I am sorry. I know I have a few missing recipes, but I didn't know this was one of them.
As I mentioned, I am a Yankee, and if I am going to stuff a bird, these are the flavors I am craving. Oh and we call it dressing, not stuffing. Here in the south, you may be more apt to see a cornbread stuffing or even a rice of some sort served on the side that may have pulverized chicken and oysters or giblets. I'll just leave it at that. But if you come to my Thanksgiving table, you will see this.
My father is in charge of making the dressing at family gatherings. He is an engineer and he has crafted multiples of the very old recipe (some 60+ years) to precise weighs and measurements. I would be remiss if I didn't share that the recipe begins with the pouring of your favorite libation. This task always begins following dinner on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday. I am a bit loser in my style except for the libations part. That is a strict ingredient.
To some degree I tend to wing the ratios depending on what I am stuffing but in general I use the exact seasonings, just not in the exact quantities. I save the heals of bread for either my own bread crumbs or for dressing. Pull all of those bags out of the freezer. Cube 12 Cups worth of Bread Cubes and place them flat on a sheet pan. If more is needed, use fresh bread. If this is done early in the day, they will get dry which is what you want. Otherwise, this is done at night and allowed to dry out over night.
Clean, peel, and dice 2 Stalks of Celery. Dice 1 Large Onion. Melt 1 Stick of Butter over medium in a skillet. Add vegetables and cook stirring often for about 10 minutes. While they are cooking, measure out, 2 tsp Poultry Seasoning, 1/2 tsp Sage, 1 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp White Pepper, 1/4 tsp Paprika, 1/4 Cup Freshly Chopped Parsley and add to the bread cubes. In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 Egg. Stir in 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth. Add the cooked vegetables to the bread cubes and stir til combined. Add the egg and broth and continue to stir.
Preheat oven to 350. Fill the bird(s) with the dressing without packing it too tightly. Coat the outside of the hens with 1 Tbl of Butter Each. Salt and Pepper the outside. As the butter melts, you will use this for basting. If you plan to make gravy, Quarter a Small Onion and peel apart some of the layers and add to the roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes basting every 15-20 minutes.
Let rest for 20 minutes before either carving or simply split down the middle in 2. If there is any leftover dressing, foil line an oven safe dish and place the rest in there, then cover it by overlapping the foil. This will bake for about 40 minutes in a 350 oven.
So there you have it, pretty simple and a tradition that I plan to carry on.