Stuffed Cornish Game Hen

I’m going on a diet. You heard me….I’m going on a diet. It has been a number of years since I have been on a diet. I think it’s time I started again. I go through this every few years. And for the most part I lose some weight. I know I’ll never be “skinny”. I stopped trying years ago. But I need to lose a few pounds.

How am I going to do that? No Pasta, Pizza, bread, sugar, cake or candy. I know, why don’t I just slit my wrist and call it a day. Believe me, that would be much easier. But I don’t know of any other way. I’m beyond exercise. Maybe if I loose 30 or 40 pounds I can think about taking long walks up and down the hills of my neighborhood. But for now, a trip to the mailbox at the end of my driveway gets my cardio up and running. Besides, I heard exercise is over rated. It’s not all that good for you anyway.  Do you know how many joggers just drop dead of heart attacks? I’d rather be eating a bowl of pasta fagioli when the big one comes, not huffing and puffing in pain getting to that last mile. Besides, I jogged for years when I was in my 30’s and 40’s, and took aerobics. I’m sure that prolonged my life for a number of years so I already have some savings in the “bank”. That has to count for something, doesn’t it?

I stopped smoking about three years ago, for the second time. That was easier than dieting. At least I was able to put on a nicotine patch to take the edge off.  I don’t know if there is a patch on the market to get you off of bacon. It doesn’t exist. I’m telling you, quitting smoking is easier than dieting. I just love food too much. Of course I gained more weight when I quit smoking.  Now you have all these fat, non-smokers running around trying to loose weight. It’s vicious. It never ends. I did it once before when I was in my 30’s. I stopped smoking and gained weight. After a few months I went on a diet and exercise program and lost 100 pounds. But that was when I was 30. For some reason, it was much easier then. At 58, it’s just not coming off as easy. You know, if I keep talking like this I might talk myself out of it. I’m actually getting hungry.  Maybe I’ll start next week.

Speaking of food, I love this dish. It’s a great way to make these hens and a great dish to impress your dinner party. It’s simple ingredients bursting with flavor. Give it a try.

Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

Each game hen feeds 1-2 people. If you are making 2 game hens cut the recipe in half.

  • 4 Cornish Game Hens
  • 1 link of sweet Italian Sausage for each game hen. If you can get Italian sausage made with cheese and parsley it works wonderful with this recipe, I prefer it.
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (about 3 sun-dried tomato halves per hen)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarter wedges.
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Wash and dry the game hens. Remove the casing from the sausage links and combine the sausage meat well with the chopped sun dried tomatoes. Divide the sausage mixture into 4 equal parts and stuff into the body cavity of each hen. Tie the legs together with butcher twine and place in a roasting pan large enough to fit the hens.

Sprinkle around the hens the chopped garlic and chopped fresh rosemary. Pour the white wine around the hens. Arrange the potatoes around the hens in a single layer. Salt and pepper the hens and potatoes to taste.

Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and seal tightly. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil and turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Cook for another 30-40 minutes until browned. Bast the hens and potatoes every 15 minutes.

Remove the hens and potatoes and place on a serving platter and keep warm. Place the butter in the roasting pan with the juices  and cook over medium high heat until the pan juices reduce and gets thick and glossy. Spoon the pan gravy over the hens and potatoes and serve. Taste for salt.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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9 Responses to Stuffed Cornish Game Hen

  1. says:

    Love your recipes. Keep them coming. I am an Italian food junkie and love to cook. May I suggest that if you do diet, you don’t really have to give up pasta. Just keep the sauce plain tomato, meaning no cream and not alot of oil. If you insist on giving up pasta, try putting sauce on spaghetti squash with some meatballs on the side. Thanks again for the terrific recipes.

    Gail Staten Island

  2. Louise says:

    Now this is a new one for me. Never made hens, period. When I get back to my kitchen… I’ll get these ingredients… and enjoy!!!! I know I will . . . Good luck losing weight…. Making the decision helps get me though….!

    • Louise, you never made Cornish Hens? You have to give it a try. Most supermarkets carry fresh Cornish Hens. Sometimes they are frozen. Buy fresh if you can. Let me know how you like it.

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Peter ! Was wondering when your next post would be…it’s been awhile.Hope your mother is better 🙂 As for your dieting…….GO FOR IT! I’ve recently lost 32lbs. just by cutting out Carbs…NO pasta,no potatoes,bread,rice and NO snacking. The good part is I only do this routine Monday thru Friday then……the weekends I eat what I want!!! Also don’t eat past 8:30 pm. If your hungry drink ice cold water. I love Cornish Hen but your way is a must to try!Thanks for always putting a smile on my face with your posts’. Be well and good luck!

  4. marianna ricci-wilson says:

    i gotta weigh in on this diet issue [pun intended!], peter. here’s a tried & true, proven action…don’t cut OUT any food, just cut DOWN on the portions. portion control is the key to successful dieting. if that is followed one does not feel deprived. joke we used to pull in college: I have the greatest diet ever. what is it? you can eat anything you want, just don’t swallow it. in re the recipe, which is the main topic here…two of my favorites in one dish: Cornish hens & Italian sausage! what could go wrong?…absolutely nothing it’s a union made in chef heaven!

  5. Louise says:

    Still have not gotten to try this. BUT I WILL.. Love all the personal tired and true tips for dieting. Do remember … “Just don’t swallow it!” Glad you Mom is good, forgot to ask last time, but I do think of her… especially when your email drops into my box. 😉 Portion Control!!!!! The hardest to do when I LOVE something! Eating slow…er! A big help! And… YES, I do love Italian Sausage and chicken. I make a roast of chicken parts, sausages… potatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic cloves… salt, pepper, olive oil… and BINGO………….. baste it now and then.. oven at 350 degrees… until done. OLD FAMILY —- AROUND THE TABLE GOOD COMPANY SPECIAL. Some times… add quartered mushrooms. Bet you’ve cooked this too 🙂 Did I miss a blog of yours?
    Can’t wait to try the Cornish Hens done your way.

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