049 – Cornish Hens Stuffed with Couscous – Valentines Specials

Ingredients

Ingredients of the Filling:

10 oz of plain couscous
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts (you can use almonds or walnuts)
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
Ingredients for the Cornish Hens
2 cornish hens (or 1 small chicken)
1 large onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 tablespoons of honey
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
A large pinch of saffron
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (to taste)

Directions

Steps to prepare the filling:

1- Prepare the couscous, either steamed or cooked in boiling water (follow the instructions on your couscous box). Do not add oil/butter or salt to the couscous while cooking it, as we are going to do it later.
2- Once the couscous is ready, combine all the filling ingredients: couscous, raisins, hazelnuts, cinnamon, butter, and orange blossom water. Mix well.
Steps to stuff the hens:

1- Stuff the hens with the couscous filling and use toothpicks to weld the openings.
2- Reserve the rest of the couscous to use as a side dish.
Steps to cook the hens:

1- On medium heat, drizzle the oil in your cooking pan. Add the chopped onion and all the spices, and cook for 2 minutes.
2- Gently place the hens in the cooking pan on their back side, cover the pan, and let them cook for 5 minutes.
3- After 5 minutes, gently rotate the hens to place them on their breast side.
4- Add the 2 cups of water to the hens, cover the pan, and let them cook for the next 30 minutes. Check the level of water from time to time, to avoid burning the hens.
5- After 30 minutes, add the 2 tablespoons of honey to the sauce. Mix well.
6- Taste the sauce and adjust the spices accordingly.
7- Check that the meat is cooked, you should be able to detach it easily from the bones. If the hens are not completely cooked, cover the pan and let them cook for another 10 minutes.
8- When the hens are cooked, remove the lid from the pan, reduce the heat, and let the sauce evaporate for the next 10-15 minutes to get a thicker consistency.
Serving:

Serve the cornish hens hot with the sauce and the remaining couscous as a side dish. Decorate with chopped hazelnuts. Enjoy!