Thanksgiving Sweet Potato & Apple Stuffed Cornish Hens with Pomegranate Glaze
1 hour 15 mins
1 hour 25 mins
1½ pound breakfast sausage (I used Apple Fennel Breakfast from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook)
2 medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 apples, cored and diced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced and divided
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced and divided
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced and divided
2 cornish hens, giblets removed
4-5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt + extra throughout
For the pomegranate glaze
2 cups pomegranate juice
¼ cup coconut aminos
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Add breakfast sausage to skillet and break into pieces. Cook half way through then add white potatoes and apples along with 1 tablespoon of thyme, rosemary and sage and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft but not completely cooked through then remove from heat to let cool a bit.
Pat cornish hens dry with a paper towel. Then place room temperature butter in a bowl along with 1 tablespoon of thyme, rosemary, sage and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix. Using your fingers, lift the skin of the cornish hen around the breast up and scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, push it under the skin and spread along the meat underneath the skin. Repeat throughout each hen and spread any extra butter mixture on top of the skin.
Use a spoon to scoop sausage mixture into the bird as much as possible. At this point, tie the legs unlike I did. Repeat with over cornish hen.
Place the leftover sausage mixture in the bottom of a roasting pan (about 12″) and spread out into one layer. Then place the rack on top and place the hens within the rack. Put it oven to roast for 50 minutes to one hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.Let rest for about 5 minutes before carving.
Once cornish hens have about 30 minutes left to roast, place cast iron skillet used for the sausage back over medium heat. Add pomegranate juice and coconut aminos, whisk then let come to a low boil and reduce bowl by a third. This will take a little over 20 minutes. Just let it boil, you don’t really have to do anything, just make sure it gets whisked a couple times to keep from burning.
Top hens and sausage mixture from the bottom of the roasting pan with a bit of pomegranate glaze.