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My Signature Dish - Slow Roasted Stuffed Cornish Hens (poussin)

Everyone who likes to cook has a signature dish. This is mine. Well, actually it was my mother's signature dish. She had a few. But this was one of the most asked of her to prepare.

When she came to live with us later in life, she used to say "you make this better than me". Of course there was no way that I made it better. Hers was to die for. But I came close and it's one of my family's favorite dinners today.

We actually called it Poussin which is the French name for Cornish hens and it is also known in the UK by the same name. Cornish hens in the US can be a little bigger than the poussin found in Europe. If you can find the smaller ones I prefer those to larger ones. My mother would serve a whole one for each person since they were very small but these are a little larger so I serve half a stuffed hen per person.

We always stuffed them with yellow rice and onions. You can stuff them with your choice of stuffing too.

Every time I make this meal I remember my mother's kitchen full of amazing aromas of food cooking as we entered her home....her home always smelled of delicious food being was her passion she said.

It is a delicious dinner that is pretty easy to prepare. You will impress your guests serving it on a large platter in the center of the table.

I am thrilled to share mine and my mother's signature dish with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

This is what you need: to serve 6

3 Cornish hens (you will be cutting these in half when they are cooked so you will end up with 6 portions)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon black pepper

1teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Jerusalem mix (optional)

For yellow rice stuffing

1 ½ cups of basmati rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Osem bouillon soup mix (or1 teaspoon salt)

1 cup of chopped parsley

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 egg beaten

½ teaspoon black pepper

All spices can be adjusted to your own taste

Wash the hens thoroughly in cold water inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Lay them in a roasting pan.


Heat oil and in a pan and add chopped onions. Sauté until golden and see through in color. Add Osem or salt, paprika, pepper, cumin and turmeric, mix with a wooden spoon until all is blended. Let cook on low for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Put rice in a medium pot and cover completely with water to well above the rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain all water well.

Add onion mix and beaten egg to drained rice.

Add chopped parsley. Mix all together well.

Using a small spoon, scoop rice mix and fill each hen to the top. Tap with spoon a little at top to condense the stuffing well into the cavity.

Mix olive oil, paprika, pepper, Jerusalem mix and salt in a small bowl and brush on top of hens. Poke holes in top of hens through the skin with a fork.

Place in oven for 45 minutes. Take out and baste well. Put back in oven and bake for 1.30- 2 more hours basting every half an hour.

Take out of oven and leave to cool a little and then take out each hen and slice it in half. Place back in pan with the stuffing side down. Baste again. Bake for half an hour more or until nicely browned on top.

Serve with cous cous or roasted potatoes.

Simple and quite a delicacy.

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