Stuffed Cornish game hens are very much like any stuffed chicken, but much smaller. One game hen serves one person. Stove Top stuffing is a premixed blend of breadcrumbs and seasonings that is mixed with water and some sort of butter and oil and then fried in a microwave or skillet. Stuffing Cornish hens requires very little stuffing, so have a glass baking dish handy to hold the leftovers for use in other dishes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and a rack that fits inside of it with nonstick cooking spray.
Rinse your Cornish game hens with cool water and pat them dry. Dry them thoroughly.
Massage softened unsalted butter into the skin of the hens. Pay special attention to the legs and wings, because these tend to brown faster.
Place the hens on the oiled rack and pour ½ cup or so of white wine over them. This adds extra flavor to the juices, but isn’t strictly necessary.
Sprinkle poultry seasoning over the hens. This usually contains rosemary, sage, thyme and garlic. The pricier mixes also sometimes include lemon pepper.
Put about 1 tsp. of butter in a skillet and turn the heat to “Medium-High.”
Saute the onions, celery and garlic in the butter until the vegetables are translucent and limp and the garlic is just starting to brown.
Add ½ cup of water to a packet of Stove Top stuffing and 1/8 cup of butter. Mix them together until they are thoroughly blended and add them to vegetables and garlic in the skillet.
Cook the stuffing until it is heated through. Let it cool to room temperature.
Stuff the Cornish hens with about 2/3 cup of stuffing each, depending on their size. Pack the stuffing very loosely.
Place the hens in the oven and cover them loosely with foil. Bake the hens for 30 minutes and then remove the foil so they can brown. Continue baking them for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Poke an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to touch bone. Check the stuffing by inserting the probe directly into it. The hens are done when the breast temperature reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the stuffing temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use leftover chicken and stuffing to make sandwiches.
Never put hot stuffing into a cold hen because the difference in temperature can foster bacteria.