Some of the traditional holiday flavors make a presence on this dish, but this Thanksgiving meal is different and fun! Half of a cornish hen, roasted to golden perfection, rests on the delicious quinoa pilaf made with cranberries and Mexican chorizo. This dish is perfect to entertain, especially if you’re hosting a smaller group!
Roasted cornish hen with chorizo-cranberry red quinoa pilaf
- 2 (two) 1 ½ lb Cornish hens (no giblets)
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 4 medium fresh sage leafs
- 4 small garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup brown onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz fresh Mexican chorizo
- 2 tbsp minced carrots
- 2 tbsp minced celery
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa
- ½ cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Rub hens with melted butter, including their cavities. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle paprika evenly over hens; rub with hands until evenly coated. Place a lemon wedge, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 leafs of sage in each cavity. Arrange hens on a roasting pan.
Roast for 25 min. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue roasting until hens are cooked through and golden brown, basting every 7-10 min with pan juices, about 20-25 min longer.
Transfer hens to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. When ready to serve, cut in half lengthwise and serve over pilaf with roasted garlic and sage leaf.
Heat butter on a large skillet over medium high heat.
Sauté onions for 2-3 min. Add garlic and chorizo and keep cooking for 5 min until it is brown and crumbly, breaking chorizo apart with the side of a wooden spoon.
Add carrots and celery and stir, cook for another couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add cooked quinoa and cranberries, stir until evenly coated. Turn heat off and keep in skillet until ready to serve. Use a fork to carefully fluff the quinoa pilaf.
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