“Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer’s queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.”
– R. Combe Miller
Is it sweater weather where you’re at yet? Are you ready to turn the oven back on? I hope so because this dish is nothing short of ah-may-zing! This elegant sheet pan dinner is quick enough for a weeknight meal but good enough for company. It comes together in less than an hour with most of that time hands-off roasting time. It practically cooks by itself, getting you out of the kitchen fast to enjoy the last weeks of summer. Using ready made rice such as Uncle Ben’s “Seeds of Change” blend makes it super easy. One pouch is perfect to stuff 2 hens. The brussels sprouts roast beautifully with all those nice caramelized bits that add so much flavor and texture. Tossing them in grainy mustard and chopped almonds and finishing them with a balsamic glaze puts them over the top of taste charts. The hens are moist and succulent and the whole dish cooks in 1 easy-to-clean pan. I cannot rave enough about this sheet pan dinner. As tasty as it is gorgeous!
Sheet Pan Cornish Game Hens with Mustard Brussel Sprouts
- 2 Cornish game Hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each
- 1 cup of cooked rice (I used a ‘Seeds of Change’ Quinoa, Brown and Red Rice blend with flax seeds, used directly from the pouch without any additional cooking time)
- salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder
- 4 teaspoons of butter
- 1 pound of brussel sprouts, ends cut off and sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of grainy brown mustard
- balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of whole roasted and salted almonds, roughly chopped in half
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Pat dry the hens. Sprinkle the inside cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff each hen with half the rice. Close the cavity with kitchen string or trussing needles.
- Place the stuffed hens on a shallow baking sheet just large enough to accomodate the hens and the brussel sprouts. Place 1 teaspoon of butter under each wing and each leg. Sprinkle the outside of the hens generously with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and onion powder.
- Toss the brussel sprouts with the olive oil. Spread around both hens evenly. Roast in the lower part of the overn for 45 minutes, stirring the brussel sprouts around once. Remove the hens from the sheet pan to a serving platter. Working in the cooking pan, scrape all the browned bits loose from the pan and mix them in with the sprouts. Toss the brussel sprouts with the mustard. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar then finish with the chopped almonds and herbs. Serve alongside the Cornish hens.