Ontario Cornish Game Hens – That special dinner for two for New Year’s Eve


Ontario cornish hens with goat cheeseTHUNDER BAY – Are you looking for something special for New Year’s Eve for that dinner for two? Fresh Ontario cornish hens are loaded with a versatile stuffing of shallots, fig and creamy Ontario goat cheese will make for a flavourful impact. To offer a harmonious balance of sweet and savoury, crisp Ontario bacon envelopes the hen keeping the meat moist and juicy.

2 cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry 2
1 tsp each, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, divided 5 mL
2 tbsp olive oil, divided 30 mL
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 15 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
2 large shallot, minced 1
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms 500 mL
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 15 mL
2 tbsp fig spread 30 mL
2 oz crumbled goat cheese 60 g
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary 15 mL
2 strips, Homegrown Ontario bacon, cut in half crosswise 50 mL

Season each cornish hen with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each of salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil, thyme, and garlic, and toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours.

In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook shallots, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, remaining salt and pepper and cook until golden and liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and fig spread. Let cool completely. Stir in goat cheese and rosemary.

Ontario Goat CheesePreheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Remove 1 hen from marinade. Gently loosen skin from breasts and stuff half of the goat cheese mixture underneath. Wrap 2 strips of bacon over breasts and transfer hen, breast side up, to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining hen. Roast until just cooked through (cut into inner thigh; meat will still be slightly pink), about 15 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Chef’s Tip: This goat cheese stuffing would also work well served with Ontario pork, pheasant and quail.

Source: Homegrown Ontario

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