I promised you I would give you the recipes that I will be making for the Captain and I on Valentine’s Day and this is the entree, Apricot Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Rice Pilaf !
If you are looking for a beautiful entree presentation …this is your recipe! The results are amazing!
The recipe might sound complicated at first, but I believe it is because I want to make the recipe as easy to follow as I can …and in my efforts, I sometimes add obvious steps.
Forgive me if I am too detailed. 🙁
I just read through one of the steps in the Recipe Directions…. and thought I should clarify.
The step says to “Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the orange zest and sweat for about 30 seconds”.
This doesn’t mean you are supposed to break out in a sweat unless your kitchen is very hot!
- 2 Cornish game hens (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 pound pork sausage
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 teaspoons grated carrot
- 2 teaspoons finely diced celery
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 3 teaspoons minced orange zest
- 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 teaspoons golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon toasted almond slivers
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- Heat the oil in a 2-quart oven safe pot over medium heat and then add the sausage.
- Cook until no pink shows, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the orange zest and sweat for about 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and continue stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add the raisins, almonds, parsley, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Place the rice on a sheet pan or a platter to cool.
- Combine the apricot jam, orange juice and remaining zest in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend.
- Place the glaze in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Allow glaze to cook until reduced by half. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Season the hens with the remaining salt and pepper on the insides and out.
- Stuff each hen cavity with about 3/4 cup of the cooled rice and place in a roasting pan.
- Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze on the hens and place them in the oven.
- Roast the game hens for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and spread another layer of glaze over the hens.
- Return the hens to the oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove the hens from the oven, spread the glaze over the hens, and return to the oven.
- Continue to cook for 30 more minutes, or until an instant read-thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160 degrees F, and inserted into the rice registers 140 degrees F.
- Serve the hens with any extra rice pilaf.
- This is so good! If you are wanting a meal to impress guests...this is the one! I have never had it fail to turn out beautifully and the taste is both sweet and savory. I always keep a close eye on the hens to assure the glaze does not burn....and I keep basting with the glaze throughout the baking process.
- The sausage rice pilaf is one of the best pilaf recipes I have ever seen. You may experiment with different types of sausage...such as hot sausage if you like your pilaf spicy.