California Oven-roasted Cornish Game Hens Stuffed with California Raisins and Smoked Ham

Submitted by: Thomas Keller

Smoked ham and raisins fill bread stuffing and game hens with a tangy, sweet flavor.



    Raisin Stuffing

    • 4 ounce smoked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    • 1 1/4 cups California raisins
    • 4 cups (6 ounces) bread, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


    • 4 each Cornish game hens
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing hens
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Raisin Stuffing

    Prepare 12 hours in advance. In a medium bowl, combine all the stuffing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate mixture; marinate for 12 hours.


    Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse the cavities of the hens well; pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Divide the stuffing equally between the hens and insert into the cavities. Truss the hens and brush the exterior with melted butter; season with salt and pepper.

    Roast the hens for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Remove the hens from the oven. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition Facts Per Serving

    Calories 670 (54% from fat); Total Fat 40g (sat 17g, mono 14g, poly 5g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 215mg; Protein 47g; Carbohydrate 29g; (Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 18g; ); Iron 3mg; Sodium 780mg; Calcium 64mg; Potassium 557mg

    This recipe is found in the following categories:

    One Response

    1. Ricardo says:

      Are these little birds just what we call posusin i.e. a small chicken? I always get confused about this when American programmes call for Cornish game hens as Cornwall doesn’t really have such birds as a distinct foodstuff and they are not sold over here at all. Your plate looks truly delicious though, there is nothing lovelier than a proper roast chicken dinner. I guess that they are also easier to heat through with stuffing in there. Yum!

    Comment on the Recipe

    Comments may be moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. It may be posted soon. Do not post your comment a second time. Thank you.