Recipe for Stuffed Rock Cornish Game Hens

Short of the chop-everything-into-one-baking-dish-and-cover-with-gluten-free-cream-of-mushroom-soup casseroles, the most common ways to prepare chicken are baked, broiled, and pan-fried. Here's a great gluten-free alternative to chicken casserole.

[Credit: iStockphoto.com/ribeirorocha]
Credit: iStockphoto.com/ribeirorocha

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 1-1/2 hour

Yield: 4 servings

1 cup rice

2 Rock Cornish game hens, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons butter

5 cups chicken broth, divided

1/2 cup sherry

2 green onions, sliced thin

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 large red pepper, roasted and chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon dried mint

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons brown mustard

2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) shredded Swiss cheese

  1. Put the rice in a small bowl and cover it with water. Let it soak for several hours, and then rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

  2. Rub the oil over the hens, inside and out. Place the hens in a 9-x-13-inch baking dish, cut side down. Sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and the paprika. Cut 1 tablespoon of the butter into small pieces and place it on top of the hens. Pour 2 cups of the chicken broth and the sherry into the pan around the hens.

  3. Bake the hens for 5 minutes, and then lower the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 15 minutes. Cover the hens with foil and bake for 25 minutes more, or until the leg twists easily.

  4. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion and almonds in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the roasted red pepper, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, dill, mint, and parsley. Bring to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat and stir in the rinsed, drained rice. Cover the pan and cook about 15 minutes, or until the moisture is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

  6. In a small saucepan, stir together 2 cups of chicken broth, the half-and-half, cornstarch, and mustard. Using a whisk, stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cheese and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sauce thickens.

  7. To serve, place a compressed mound of rice on each dish. Place a hen half on top, and then spoon the sauce over the top.

Per serving: Calories: 871; Total fat: 52g; Saturated fat: 19g; Cholesterol: 217mg; Sodium: 1,853mg; Carbohydrates: 49g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 39g.

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