Honey Lemon-Glazed Cornish Hens with Walnut Rice Stuffing

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup leeks or shallots, finely chopped
2-2/3 cups cooked long-grain parboiled white or brown rice
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon zest
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 Cornish hens, about 1 1/2 lbs. each
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice

METHOD:

In large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add leeks (or shallots); sauté until just tender. Stir in rice, walnuts, parsley, lemon zest and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Rinse Cornish hens and pat dry; season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with rice mixture. Tuck wings underneath and tie legs together. Place with breast side up in large roasting pan. Bake in 375°F for 1 hour or until juices run clear, basting several times with pan drippings.

In small bowl, whisk together honey and lemon juice. Brush Cornish hens with honey glaze during last 15 minutes of cooking; baste several times with glaze and pan drippings. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes; remove string.

YIELD: Makes 4 servings.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe at California Walnuts

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