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Stuffed Cornish Game Hens with Leek Stew

This seasonal recipe for stuffed Cornish game hens with leek stew is courtesy of chef Tom Colicchio.

  • Servings: 4

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2007


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 Cornish game hens (1 pound each)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Maple Vanilla Gastrique, for serving (optional)
  • Leek Stew, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Melt 6 tablespoons butter; set aside. Place bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook bacon pieces until crisp. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add apple and cook until soft. Fold in bread, orange zest, sage, cinnamon, and melted butter. Slowly add just enough stock so that mixture sticks together. Remove from heat and let cool slightly; stir in egg.

  3. Stuff the cavity of each game hen with one quarter of the stuffing mixture. Truss each game hen using kitchen twine.

  4. Heat remaining tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium heat in a small roasting pan until foaming. Season game hens with salt and pepper and add to pan. Sear game hens on all sides until golden brown. Transfer roasting pan to oven and cook until juices run clear and the hens reach 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 40 to 45 minutes.

  5. Transfer hens to individual serving plates. Drizzle maple vanilla gastrique over hens and serve with leek stew.

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