2hr 17min prep 38min cook 1hr 39min | Created by: Emily Wilson
Why should turkeys have all the fun? This simple twist on a classic Thanksgiving dinner is easier to manage and will satisfy everyone’s craving for tradition.
More than one recipe requires the use of an oven or broiler. This may affect cooking times.
Citrus and Thyme Cornish Game Hen
Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms
- Fresh Chives — 2 Tablespoons
- Fresh Parsley — 1 Tablespoon
- Fresh Thyme — 4 Sprigs, 3 Tablespoons
- Garlic — 2 Cloves
- Green Beans — 3⁄4 Pound
- Green Cabbage — 2 Cups
- Onions — 1⁄2 Cup
- Orange — 2
- Orange Zest — 3 Tablespoons
- Russet Or Baking Potatoes — 2 Pounds
- Shallots — 3, 3 Tablespoons
- Shiitake Mushrooms — 11 Ounces
- Cornish Game Hen — 2 ( 1 1⁄2 Pounds each )
- Butter, Unsalted — 8 Tablespoons
- Heavy Cream — 1 1⁄4 Cups
- Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Panko Breadcrumbs — 1 Cup
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil — 5 Tablespoons
- Sherry Vinegar — 2 Tablespoons
- Aluminum Foil
- Paper Towels
- Stove Top — 3
- Baking Dish, 8″x8″
- Baking Dish, 9″x11″
- Chef’s Knife
- Cutting Board
- Instant-Read Thermometer, Optional
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Microwave-Safe Bowl, Medium
- Microwave-Safe Bowl, Small
- Mixing Bowl, Medium
- Pot, Large (4-6 QT)
- Potato Masher
- Saute Pan, Medium (10″-12″)
- Saute Pan, Medium (10″-12″)
- This recipe is written for 1/2 a Cornish hen per person, allowing 1 breast, 1 thigh and 1 drumstick portion per person. If you feel your guests will have a larger appetite, double the recipe to serve a whole bird per person.
- 1 Place butter in a medium mixing bowl to soften as you prep other ingredients.
- 2 Pick thyme leaves off the stems and finely chop to measure the indicated amount. Add to the butter.
- 3 Zest oranges to measure the indicated amount. Add to the thyme and butter.
- 4 Cut shallots in half or in quarters, depending on their size. You want to fit about 1 medium shallot in the cavity of each bird, so cut them down to size accordingly.
- 5 Cut the oranges in half. Cut 1 half into half again.
- 6 Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Place the pot on the stove.
- 7 Cut an onion into 1/4 inch dice to measure the indicated amount.
- 8 Cut the root end off the head of green cabbage. Stand upright on this flat end and cut in half down the center. Remove the core from 1 half, lay it flat and slice crosswise into long strips. Cut strips into 1/2 inch pieces to measure the indicated amount.
- 9 Finely chop chives to measure the indicated amount.
- 10 Trim parsley leaves from the stems and finely chop to measure the indicated amount.
- 11 Use paper towels to brush any dirt off the mushrooms. Remove the stems and discard. Slice the mushroom caps very thinly.
- 12 Slice a shallot into thin rings to measure the indicated amount.
- 13 Smash the garlic under the side of your chef’s knife to remove the peel. Mince the garlic.
- 14 Cut the root ends off the green beans.
- 15 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- 16 Stir the citrus and thyme butter together to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 17 Rinse the Cornish game hens inside and out. Dry thoroughly. Set on a clean tray or platter with the breast side facing up.
- 18 Insert your fingers under the skin to carefully separate the skin from the breast meat. Stuff the butter between the skin and the meat and spread it evenly.
- 19 Drizzle each game hen with about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper all over. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish as well.
- 20 Stuff each bird with about 1/4 of an orange, 2 quarters or halves of shallots and 2 additional thyme sprigs. Place birds in the 9″x11″ baking dish with the breast sides facing up. You want the game hens to have enough room so they are not touching.
- 21 Squeeze the juice from the remaining oranges over the tops of both game hens, then place the squeezed oranges in the baking dish along with 1-2 cut shallots.
- 22 Place the game hens in the preheated oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone, about 50-60 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer, test by inserting a knife into the thigh area. Juices should run clear. Rotate the baking dish after [25 minutes] to ensure even cooking.
- 23 Turn the heat on high under the pot of potatoes. Proceed with next step as water comes to a boil.
- 24 Fill a medium saute pan with water so it is about 1 inch deep. Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- 25 Once water is boiling, cook the potatoes until tender and easily fall apart when pierced with a fork, about [10-15 minutes].
- 26 Once water is boiling, add the green beans and season with salt. Boil until bright green but still crispy, about [3-4 minutes].
- 27 Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and warm.
- 28 Once oil is warm, add the onions and saute until softened and slightly translucent. Do not brown.
- 29 Add the cabbage. Season with salt and pepper and saute until soft and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Stir often. Do not brown. Once cabbage is ready, remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl or platter.
- 30 Once the beans are strained, wipe the pan dry and place back over medium heat. Add olive oil and warm.
- 31 Once oil is warm, add the shallots. Saute until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir often. Do not brown.
- 32 Stir in the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are very soft and the moisture has evaporated, about 4-6 minutes.
- 33 Once the mushrooms have softened and the pan is dry, add the sherry vinegar. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, then stir in the heavy cream, chives and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
- 34 Add the green beans to the pan of creamy mushrooms. Once well combined, transfer to an 8″x8″ baking dish.
- 35 Once you remove the game hens from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- 36 Place butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in short 20-second increments until butter is melted.
- 37 Once butter is melted, stir in heavy cream.
- 38 Place the strained potatoes back in the pot and place the pot over medium heat. Cook out excess moisture, stirring often for about 3-5 minutes.
- 39 Once potatoes are dried out, remove from heat and use a potato masher or potato ricer to mash the potatoes until smooth.
- 40 Once the potatoes are smooth, place back over low heat and pour in about 1/3 of the melted butter and cream mixture. Stir until the liquid is absorbed, then pour in another 1/3 of the mixture.
- 41 Continue this process until all the butter and cream mixture is absorbed into the potatoes, then stir in the cabbage and onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat once mixture is smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated. Cover until ready to serve.
- 42 Preheat the broiler on high.
- 43 Place butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high in short 20-second increments until butter is melted.
- 44 Stir the panko into the bowl of melted butter. Sprinkle the panko evenly over the top of the green beans and mushrooms.
- 45 Place the green beans under the broiler and toast until the panko is golden brown, about [1-3 minutes].
- 46 To carve a game hen, set the bird so the legs are closest to you. Use a sharp knife to cut down between the drumstick and the body of the bird. As you cut, simultaneously pull the drumstick and thigh away until they release, then repeat on the other side. Next, cut down on either side of the center breastbone to remove each portion of breast meat.
- 47 Scoop the green beans with creamy mushrooms onto each dinner plate. Serve warm!
- 48 Transfer potatoes colcannon to a serving dish or dinner plates and serve warm!
- 49 Transfer 1 breast, 1 drumstick and 1 thigh to each dinner plate. Or, place all portions on a serving platter and let guests help themselves. Drizzle any pan drippings over the game hens for extra flavor. Serve warm!