Birds of Paradise AKA "Love Birds"

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2 - 24 Ounce Rock Cornish Game Hens

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Granulated Garlic

 

For The Stuffing:

Cooked Chopped Meat From the Giblets

1/2 Cup White,Brown, Wild, & Red Rice Blend Or Long Grain & Wild Rice

1/2 Tablespoon Butter.

3/4 Cup Broth Reserved From Giblets

Giblets From The Cornish Game Hens

1 Teaspoon Chicken Base Or  Boullion

1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig 

1/4 Cup Canned Water Chestnuts Diced & Drained

1/4 Cup Craisins

1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

1/4 Cup Celery Diced

2 Spring Onions Diced

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Mushrooms

1 Taplespoon Fresh Parsley Chopped 

1 Egg Raw Whipped

3 Tablespoons Burgundy Or Red Wine

1/2 Cup Dry Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing Mix

1/3 Cup Broth Reserved From Giblets

1 Tablespoon Butter

 

For The Orange Glaze

1- 6 Oz  Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate

2 Tablespoons Butter

1/3 Cup Golden Raisins

1/2 Teaspoon Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger or Ginger Paste

1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil

1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds

1/3 Cup Water

3 Tablespoons Reserved Pinapple Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Cup Cognac Or Sherry

1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

1 Tablespoon Orange Zest

 

For The Garnish

1 Whole Fresh Pineapple Halved

1 Head Fresh Savoy

Fresh Green Curly Kale

1/2 Orange Sliced 

Fresh Pineapple Chunks

2-3 Roasted Beets 

Eddible Flowers Such As Orchids Or Pansies. Substitue Steawberries/ Grapes

 

Suggested Side:

Garlic Green Beans

 

Place the giblets from your Rock Cornish Game Hens in a small pot along with 1 1/2 cups water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. If your  hens did not come packaged with giblets, substitute with chicken stock or broth.

Rinse and drain the Rock Cornish Game Hens. Pat dry with paper towel. Rub the birds down with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and granulated garlic. Allow the hens to acclimate to room temperature for 45 minutes while you prepare the stuffing.

Locate oven rack to the upper third & preheat oven to 380 degrees F.

 

Prepare Stuffing:

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a heavy bottom 2 quart pot with lid. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved broth from cooking the giblets, (or chicken broth/stock). Bring to boil. Add the 1/2 cup of rice blend along with the fresh Rosemary spring, and bring back to boil. Cover with lid, lower heat as low as possible and continue cooking covered over low heat for 13 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for an additional 13 minutes. If you prefer, you may substitute a pouch of microwaveable Long Grain & Wild Rice such as "Uncle Bens", instead of cooking up your own rice from scratch.

In the mean time in another 2 quart, or similar pot with lid, melt 1 tablespoon butter and saute' the diced celery, spring onions, fresh parsley, for about 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup of the reserved broth from giblets and bring to boil. (Or chicken broth/stock). Add the 1/2 cup dry cornbread stuffing mix, Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.

 

Stuff The Cornish Game Hens

Place the cooked rice blend, (discard the Rosemary sprig), in a mixing bowl, fluff the cooked cornbread stuffing celery, spring onion, parsley, &  add to the rice and mix together. Add the Craisins, chopped mushrooms, diced water chestnuts, chopped pecans, and mix all together. Next add the well whipped, raw egg and mix into the stuffing. Add last, the 3 tablespoons Burgundy or other red wine. Mix well.

Stuff the Cornish Game Hens with the stuffing mixture. Tie the legs together with cotton string. I like to tuck the wing tips under the section of the bird where the wing drumstick attaches to the breast. This allows for a little "stand" for the bird to rest upon, as well as exposes the lower, front surface area of the breast for better browning and glazing. Place the remainder of the stuffing in a small baking dish, or pot  with lid, cover, and bake for 45 minutes along with your birds. 

 

Prepare the Beets

Cut off the tops and throughly wash the fresh beets in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place whole beets on alluminum foil, coat with oilve oil, salt & pepper. Wrap the coated beets tightly in the alluminum foil. Place in a small, uncovered baking dish. or if room, on the rack in the roasting pan next to your Cornish hens.

Place prepared Game Hens on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan. Roast the hens along with the beets at 380 degrees F for 45 minutes.

 

Prepare the Orange Glaze:  

As the game hens and beets are roasting, prepare the orange glazing sauce.

In a small sauce pan 1 or 2 quart, add the 6 ounce can of thawed orange juice concentrate, place over medium heat. Add in and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add in the soy sauce, fresh ginger or ginger paste, sesame seeds, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1/2 teaspon salt, 1/3 cup water and orange zest. The zest is made from fine grating the peel from about 1/2 of the orange. Add in 3 tablespoons of the reserved juice from your carved pinapple.

Bring mixture up to soft boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1/4 cup cool, cognac or sherry wine. (Not cooking sherry! That stuff is nasty!) Blend in the cornstrch well with a whisk, into the cognac, working out all lumps to a smooth mixture. Add to the orange juice mixture, bring heat back up slowly to a soft boil stirring well allowing the sauce to thicken evenly. After sauce has thickened remove from heat.

 

Glaze The Hens

After the hens & beets have baked for 45 minutes, remove them from the oven. Leave hens on the rack in place in the roasting pan. Place the beets aside to cool. Generously spoon over the orange glazing sauce completly coating the breast, legs, thighs, and wings. Try to dollop some of the golden raisins on the top. 

Return the birds 380 degree F oven and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You may wish to recoat with the orange sauce half way through this additional roasting period. 

Cornish Game Hens tend to have a "pinker" leg/thigh meat than chickens when cooked. To insure this meat appears less pink when served, which some folks fear isn't cooked well enough, roast your birds 30 additional minutes instead of the additional 15. There is a balancing act required here as to not dry out the breast, in order to allow the leg/thigh joint to fully cook to some folk's desired degree of doneness.

 

Carve The Pineapple

While the hens are roasting, divide your pineapple into two equal halves, longway through the top as well, making sure the top remains attached to the body. With a paring knife, cut at angle, removing the core, the carefully carving out and removing as much of the fruit as you can from the shell. Reserve the fruit and the juice. What you are trying to achieve hear is two serving "bowls" in which to present your finished game hens.

Place the pineapple bowls onto large plates, and garnish around with fresh purple savoy and green kale leaves. Leave an area free on the bottom third of the plate for placing the heart beets, and garlic green beans or other side dish. 

 

Prepare The "Heart Beets"

After your roasted beets have cooled, while the hens are still cooking, and after you have carved your pineapple bowls, slice the beets into 1/8" to 1/4" slices. Using two seperate & varied in size, heart-shaped cookie cutters, stamp out "heart beets" from the beet slices. Reserve the heart beets for garnish, and side dish to your meal.

 

Plate The Game Hens

Add some of the additional baked stuffing to the pinapple bowls, leaving a hollowed out space in the center. Place the roasted birds into the pinapple. Off to one side of bottom the plate add your garlic green beans or other desired side dish. Arrange the "heart beets" along the bottom flange of the plate. Add reserved pinapple chunks and orange slices as additional garnish. Serve unused orange sauce for dipping on the side. Finish off dressing you plated birds with edible orchids, pansies or other flowers. If you cannot find fresh edible flowers, consider chocolate coverd strawberries, or organicly grown pansies. Maybe even some candied flowers from Michael's Arts & Craft store.

Just be sure not to use hemlock or oleander! If you are serving 4 double up on everything! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 Ingredients                                                              Directions