Rock Cornish Game Hen
-2 (20-oz.) Rock Cornish game hens, thawed completely
-1 or 2 ribs of celery
-1 apple, cored
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1 teaspoon thyme
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop celery into 3- or 4-inch stalks; slice partially through in a few places to allow flavor to escape without compromising the size of the stalks. Slice apple into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.
Remove the hens from packaging, being careful to drain as much liquid out of them as possible before placing them in a glass baking dish. (A 9″ x 12″ pan held my two birds quite comfortably and allowed air to circulate between them.) There will still be liquid that escapes into the pan while you stuff them; that is okay.
Make sure any giblets or innards are removed from inside of chicken (sometimes they will be in a little bag inside; sometimes the birds are already cleaned out before you buy them). Stuff half of the celery and apples into each bird, simply pushing the long pieces in side-by-side. There is no need to tie legs, as stuffing is in long strips and will not fall out.
Try to separate skin from chicken where you can, squirting lemon juice between the two layers. If you can’t get them separated, it’s not a big deal–just coat the outside of the skin with lemon juice instead.
Sprinkle the game hens with thyme, paprika and garlic powder.
Place pan uncovered in hot oven. Bake approximately 55-65 minutes, or until inserted meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Baste hot juices over hens if desired, and serve immediately.