Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 35 Minutes
Make Ahead: Make Stuffing 1 to 24 Hours Ahead
4 large leeks, white only, well washed, chopped
1 each small red, yellow, and white onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions with 4 inches green left on, minced
4 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, mashed to paste with fork
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt (table salt may be substituted) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon each of 5 of the following chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano, sage, marjoram, parsley
6 Cornish hens, 12 to 16 ounces each
Fresh sage leaves or sprigs of other herbs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large skillet, gently cook leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic in oil and 2 tablespoons butter until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and chopped herbs. Mix well, and taste for seasoning. Generously salt and pepper cavities and outsides of birds. Stuff hens with mixture, and truss if desired. Melt remaining butter, and drizzle over birds.
Place birds on rack in large roasting pan so that they do not touch (if necessary, use 2 pans). Roast 35 to 40 minutes, basting several times with pan juices. When juice runs clear from a pierced thigh or breast, the birds are done. Garnish with sage leaves or herb sprigs.
Note: Poussins, large quail, or squab could be used in place of Cornish hens.
Featured in “Quick Cuisine: Game Point” Domain, November/December 1989