I mentioned to my friend the other night the supper I was making in which she replied, “oh, so a simple meal” with a laugh. I laughed but in reality, this is a very easy meal. It’s an all-in-one one pan meal; there’s nothing difficult about that. This family style one pan stuffed cornish hens with roasted vegetables makes a delicious meal for a crowd or special gift for someone who could use it.
Canadian Thanksgiving just past and it had me reflecting on what that means to our family. Like many, I cook a big meal and invite all the extended family to enjoy laughs, good food and each others company. This year I wanted to do something a little different.
The Act of Giving
There are people who don’t have anyone to spend a meal with through the holiday seasons, let alone have a meal cooked for them. Imagine a neighbours surprise if they were presented with a lovely dinner and a visit. There are so many deserving people of such a meal; an elderly neighbour, someone new to the community or someone who has fallen on hard times; this may bring a little sunshine to their day.
Giving doesn’t have to only be on the holidays either; maybe a person too busy working, a new mom or someone with a death in the family could use this meal at the right moment. The possibilities of giving are endless.
One Pan Meals: Serving Size
These cornish hens are enough for 1-3 people, a good meal and leftovers. The recipe includes enough to stuff 3 hens of similar size so we could enjoy 1 for my husband and I and our two small kids (they don’t eat much) and prepare 2 platters for our grandparents to enjoy.
If you prefer, these hens can be left unstuffed but I personally think the stuffing makes the meal, and it’s easy to make. Just look at that browned stuffing and crispy skin; it is as good as it looks.
If you like this recipe, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Please check out my other recipes and I’d love if you’d pin it for later on Pinterest or follow along for other great recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- 3 Cornish Hens
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
- 1 small bag of baby potatoes
- 8 small to medium carrots
- 3 cups stuffing bread mix
- ½ cup diced celery
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1½ tsp poultry spice
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
- Springs of fresh thyme and oregano
- Thaw hens overnight in the fridge then sit in a cold water bath for a couple hours in the morning. Remove from packaging, remove any innards and toss, rinse the hens under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Use proper sanitary handling procedures when handling raw meat, always wash hands and disinfect surfaces where raw meat comes in contact.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a large three quarter sheet baking pan, or two regular size, place parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl put stuffing, onion, celery, poultry spice and mushroom soup and mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Stuff each hen with the stuffing, evenly distributed between the 3. There may be a small amount of stuffing leftover, depending on the size of the hens. You could make a 4th hens if you prefer.
- Place stuffed hens spaced on the parchment paper on the pan and rub butter on the skin of the hens and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place hens into the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and distribute vegetables evenly around the hens on the pan, filling in the space. I baked whole carrots but you can cut into chunks, if preferred. Sprinkle entire pan of vegetables and hens with pepper, salt and garlic powder to taste, a light coat is usually plenty.
- Place the sprigs of thyme/oregano on/around the hens and put back into the oven, cooking for another hour but tossing the vegetables every 15 minutes to ensure they are evenly coated in the juices and basting the hens. You can baste the hens with melted butter, if they look slightly dry and there aren't enough juices on the pan.
- Remove from the oven and test to see if fully cooked by sticking a fork into the breast and no juices come out of the fork holes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 180 degrees. Also poke potatoes to ensure cooked. For the last few minutes, I turn the oven to broil to crisp and brown the skin a little more but be careful not to burn.