Red Prince® Apple Stuffed Cornish Hens

At your next formal engagement, create a royal feast for your guests by serving Red Prince® Apple Stuffed Cornish Hens, an elegant alternative to traditional poultry dishes. Brimming with sweet Red Prince® apple pieces and savoury pancetta bites, and topped with a smooth apple whiskey gravy, this roasted entrée will impress even the most discerning of palates.


Apple Stuffed Cornish Hens
1/2 cup pancetta, diced 125 mL
1 celery rib, finely diced 1
1/2 onion, diced 1/2
1 Red Prince® apple, cored and diced 1
1 clove garlic, minced 1
1 tsp poultry spice 5 mL
1/2 tsp black pepper 2 mL
1 tsp lemon zest 5 mL
2 Cornish hens (approximately 1.5lbs each hen) 2
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
salt and pepper to taste


Quick Gravy
1 can (10 oz) condensed chicken stock 1 can (284 mL)
1/3 cup Calvados or sherry 75 mL
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 15 mL
1 tbsp Cornstarch 15 mL
3 sprigs thyme 3
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a large heavy bottomed skillet, sauté pancetta over high heat for 1 minute then add celery, onion, Red Prince® apple, garlic, poultry spice and black pepper. Sauté until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.


Debone Cornish hens and stuff with Red Prince® apple stuffing. Tie hens with butcher’s twine to secure stuffing.


Lightly season hens with oil, salt and pepper and roast in centre rack of oven for 50 to 60 minutes until juices run clear.


Once cooked, (meat thermometer should register at 175F) remove from oven, covering with foil and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, to make gravy, combine stock, Calvados, Dijon mustard, cornstarch and thyme in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over high heat. Whisk constantly until bubbling and gravy becomes translucent. Remove thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Makes 4 servings.


Chef Tip: Specialty butchers may be able to debone the hens for you or alternately use butterflied chicken or turkey breast.


PER SERVING (1/2 hen with stuffing and a portion of gravy): 502 calories, 34 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 187 mg cholesterol, 825 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 35 g protein. % RDI: 4% calcium, 15% iron, 5% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C.