Holiday Game Hens Recipe

My uncle used to come home with game hens all the time as a child. Aside from nearly breaking a tooth or two on bird shot it was one of my favorite meals. Sitting around the table and sharing stories of his hunts and adventures when he would go hunting in Montana are what instilled in me the love for hunting and a respect for Firearms. To this day I can not have a hen without thinking of Uncle Billy.

Total Time:

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 40 min.

Ingredients

2 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
1 medium lemon, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bacon strip, diced
1/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped apple
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon chicken broth

Directions

  1. Rub each Cornish hen inside and out with cut lemon. Sprinkle each cavity with salt and pepper; set aside. In a small skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving drippings.
  2. In a saucepan, cook the pork over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the apple, raisins, broth and bacon. Loosely stuff into hens; skewer openings and tie drumsticks together.
  3. In the reserved drippings, brown hens on all sides. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck wings under hens. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 40-45 minutes or a meat thermometer reads 180°. Yield: 2 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 916 calories, 62 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 412 mg cholesterol, 884 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 75 g protein.

Originally published as Holiday Game Hens in Taste of Home December/January 2005, p20