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Cornish Hens with Kasha Pilaf


Pan-roasting Cornish hens provides a rich base for white-wine sauce. Kasha pilaf is a hearty accompaniment.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 1995


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 1/2 cup whole kasha
  • 2 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • All-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging
  • 2 two-pound Cornish game hens, split, with backbones reserved
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 pound orecchiette pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. place a roasting pan in it. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook 10 to 12 minutes; add mushrooms, cook until tender. Add kasha and 2 cups stock. Cook until kasha is tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Flour hens and cook, skin side down, with backbones, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn, and cook 3 to 5 more minutes. Transfer hens to roasting pan; roast for about 20 minutes.

  3. Pour grease from skillet. Over high heat, add wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits. Lower heat, add remaining stock, and cook until reduced by a third, 5 minutes. Stir in remaining butter.

  4. Stir cooked pasta and parsley into kasha. Season, and heat through. Serve hens over kasha pilaf, and spoon sauce over hens.

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