Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup chopped yellow onion (from about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery (from about 1 medium rib)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 1 1/4-lb Cornish hens
  • 3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 thyme sprig


1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in rice; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Stir in grapes, chopped thyme, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer to a bowl; let cool for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack in a foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Stuff warm rice mixture into cavities of hens; tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wing tips under. Place hens breast-side up on rack. Rub with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining 1½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thigh registers 160°F, about 35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, honey and thyme sprig in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy and reduced to about ¼ cup, 7 to 8 minutes. Discard thyme sprig.

4. After hens have baked for 35 minutes, brush with vinegar mixture. Continue baking until hens are deeply browned and a thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°F, about 10 minutes. (Shield hens with foil if needed to prevent excessive browning.) Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Split hens in half length


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