I have never stuffed a meatloaf inside another type of meat like a Cornish hen until this recipe. It feels weird stuffing a chicken knowing that you're stuffing it up where the hen's anus was.
This recipe was also very risky. It's (hopefully) common knowledge in food safety that you don't put raw beef and raw chicken in the same area because that leads to cross-contamination. That is why I browned the beef before stuffing it in the hens and why I didn't put the meatloaf stuffing and hens in the same lasagna pan. There wasn't enough room in my oven for 3 lasagna pans so I had to sadly dispose of the remaining meatloaf stuffing. However, I suggest you cook it in the oven in a separate lasagna pan if you are fortunate enough to have a large oven that can fit 3 lasagna pans, to reduce waste.
Whenever you're cooking raw poultry, it's imperative to fully cook the chicken and have a working meat thermometer available, which I didn't have, so I had to judge whether the hens were cooked purely by sight alone, which is not a good idea to try at home
It turns out red cooking wine is the same color as the blood of the hens. I should've in hindsight used white cooking wine, even if it cost me an extra $3.
Some parts of the hens were still a little pink after cooking them, so I had to dispose of the raw meat. I'm a bit leery after reading an article online about how the national system that distributes chicken meat has no federal regulations and may come contaminated without the supermarkets that sell it from realizing it. Apparently the FDA and the USDA aren't on the same page when it comes to poultry.
However, these chicken meat distributors do have to ensure that ground chicken is safe for consumption so any future meatloaf recipes that use ground chicken aren't off the table.
Now I know why my aunt was so stressed out about cooking the turkey on Thanksgiving- serving raw turkey that sickens your family will probably put you on their naughty list for years to come.
My dad is leery of eating chicken and beef in the same meal, even though he said the chicken was good. Fortunately, nobody in my household got sick from the hens.
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A frying pan
3 lasagna pans or roasting pans
A large bowl
A small bowl
A pastry brush
For the edible stuff:
2 Cornish hens, with the giblets removed
For the meatloaf stuffing:
1 pound of 93% ground beef
Olive oil for browning
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. of red or white cooking wine
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
For the glaze:
3 tbsp. of red or white cooking wine
2 tbsp. of olive oil
Pinch of sage
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
For pouring on top of the hens:
1/2 cup of red or white cooking wine for each hen
1/2 cup of chicken broth for each hen
To prepare the meatloaf stuffing:
1. Pour olive oil in a frying pan. Heat the oil up.
2. Once the oil is heated up, put the ground beef into the frying pan. Brown the beef until it is fully cooked(i.e. it is brown in color, with no red or pink parts remaining).
3. Place the browned beef in a large bowl. Let it cool off for 5-10 minutes or until you can touch it without burning yourself.
4. Place the rest of the meatloaf stuffing ingredients in the large bowl.
5. Mix all the ingredients together so that the egg and the rest of the ingredients are distributed throughout the mixture.
To prepare the hens:
1. Remove the packaging off of the hens.
2. Remove the giblets that are inside the hens. That involves sticking a clean hand inside where the hen's anus was. If you bought them from a supermarket, they should be in little plastic bags.
3. You can fry the giblets if you want to eat them but otherwise, you can just dispose of them.
4. Once the giblets are removed, wash the hens on both the inside and outside under some water, like in a sink.
5. Check that there are no feathers on the hens. If you happen to find feathers, burn the feathers off.
For the glaze:
1. Put all glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Mix all the glaze ingredients together. Set the bowl to the side for now.
The remaining steps:
1. Stuff the hens with the meatloaf mixture. You'll probably have some meatloaf mixture left over considering these hens don't weigh more than 2 pounds usually. If you have room in your oven for a 3rd lasagna pan or roasting pan, form the meatloaf stuffing into a loaf shape and bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes so that the raw egg inside the stuffing is fully cooked. Otherwise, dispose of the remaining meatloaf stuffing.
2. Place each hen inside a lasagna pan or roasting pan.
3. Brush the glaze on the hens using a pastry brush.
4. Pour the red or white cooking wine and chicken broth on top of the hens. This is to moisten the hens.
5. Roast inside a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thigh, breast, and wing reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where a working meat thermometer comes in handy.
6. As the hens are cooking, spoon the liquid that's on the bottom of the pans on top of the hens every 15 minutes to ensure the hens don't dry up.
7. Serve with vegetables of your choice(I used green beans and almonds)
8. Bon appetit!