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Festive Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing


4 servings

These plump golden birds decorate holiday platters beautifully. Crusty ciabatta bread, moistened by juicy orange sections, makes wonderful stuffing.—Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
Festive Stuffed Cornish Game Hens Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 cups cubed ciabatta bread
  • 3 medium navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 4 Cornish game hens (20 to 24 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, saute onion and celery in butter and 1 tablespoon oil until tender. Add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bread, oranges, cranberries, pecans and orange zest. Add onion mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Loosely stuff hens with stuffing. Tuck wings under hens; tie drumsticks together. Rub with remaining oil; sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Place breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
  4. Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 165° when inserted in center of stuffing and the thigh reaches at least 180°, basting hens occasionally with orange juice. Cover loosely with foil if hens brown too quickly. Cover and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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