When planning to entertain a few, select friends during the merry Yuletide season, something delightfully festive is in order.
These succulent little Cornish game hens, stuffed with a richly flavored rice studded with dried apricots, toasted pecans and minced green onions, are a masterpiece for elegant dining.
To ensure these plump birds are tender and juicy on the inside and glow with Yuletide color on the outside, brush with a delicious glaze of soy sauce, apricot jam and a sprinkling of nutmeg.
HOLIDAY HENS WITH APRICOT-RICE STUFFING
4 Cornish game hens, thawed
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup toasted pecan halves
1/4 cup minced green onions
Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens under cold running water. Drain well and pat dry. Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, jam and nutmeg. Brush cavities of hens thoroughly with mixture.
Combine rice, 4 teaspoons soy sauce, apricots, pecans and green onions until well mixed. Stuff hens with equal amounts rice mixture.
Place hens, breast side up, on rack in shallow foil-lined baking pan. Brush skins lightly with sauce mixture. Bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes, then remove from oven, brush lightly with sauce and cover loosely with foil. Bake 45 minutes longer or until tender, brushing occasionally with remaining sauce. Makes 4 servings.