On the side... (French Fridays with Dorie: Sausage Stuffed Cornish Hens)

My first memories of stuffing poultry go back a long time.

It was usually the night before Thanksgiving (or some other turkey worthy holiday). Dad would pull out the hand cranked grinder (the one that attached to the built-in pull out cutting board that always intrigued me as a child). Out would come the Very Large Yellow Tupperware bowl.

Next, the weird pieces from inside the turkey would appear followed by celery and onions and a loaf of bread and who knows what else. Everything would get cranked together through the grinder  and the next morning this mystery mixture would get shoved inside the "turkey hole" and baked along with the turkey.

Everyone loved it... except for me. It kind of freaked me out. It still does. I am pretty sure it had something to do with the giblets, neck, gizzards and whatever other unmentionable pieces went in there.

Oh, the trauma!

Step forward a few decades. I have made progress on my stuffing/ dressing issues - as long as there are no unmentionable animal innards, I can manage. I prefer it baked on the side, but in some cases I don't mind it inside (I'm looking at you turkey ballotine).

This week's French Fridays with Dorie involved taking a couple of Cornish game hens (i.e. teeny, tiny chickens), stuffing them with a sausage mixture and baking for a short (relatively) amount of time. Well, that's what it was supposed to be.

Running short on time and even shorter on patience, my rendition ended up being a small (not teeny, tiny) roasted chicken with dressing baked on the side. And a healthy dose of mustard-crusted roast potatoes to seal the deal. Not so bad for an 8 PM dinner on a Thursday night. I suppose something green would have been an appropriate addition - I even pulled out some Brussels sprouts to roast along withe everything else. However, after considering the readout on clock, I promptly put them back in the refrigerator. Being virtuous with my produce would just have to wait for another day.

The Dude liked the sausage dressing. The Girl ate up the potatoes and I was a fan of the juicy chicken - well, the chicken was good; but if I really had to pick sides, I was on Team Potato too...

One the book front, I am almost finished with The House Girl, by Tara Conklin. There are a couple of slow spots throughout, but overall a good read.

I have decided that winter is over (in my mind). I am choosing to ignore the fresh snow and ice covering the ground and the pot hole ridden roads. The calendar says that spring starts next week. Daylight savings time has come - which means that it is still light out when I leave work at night. Surely, warm weather can not be far behind, no? To all of you living in spring-kissed regions, please keep posting those pictures, it gives the rest of us hope...

Peace out. XO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Other blogged renditions (and more accurate renditions) can be found here.


  1. That all worked out well - everyone got a piece of the dish they wanted. Wishing you sunshine and a good weekend.

  2. There's nothing drives me to hard-core vegetarianism faster than breaking down a chicken. I used to be pretty good about it, but now, it's way too traumatic. Any chicken that appears in my recipes has been purchased in small brown paper packages, trimmed by my local ethical butcher. It probably makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but it's the best I can do. I'm totally with you on winter. We had a 70 degree day on Tuesday, and, even though it snowed like heck on Wednesday, it completely put me in a spring state of mind. (Plus, I saw in my gardens this morning that my garlic plants are a half foot tall already. Woot!)

  3. Something for everyone! I call that a success!

  4. Looks delicious! You can't go wrong when roasted chicken and roasted potatoes are on the plate.

  5. Sounds like a tasty meal, virtuous or not. Glad the family gave it thumbs up. You would not like my Thanksgiving stuffing. It's got giblets. But they're cut up really small so you can't tell. I like your approach, decide winter is over, and it will be over. I'll try it here too. Yesterday, we had another mini-snowstorm. Just an inch, but everything that had melted was covered up again, and it got COLD again. I'm done. Spring, come fast.

  6. Cher, So sorry you got more snow…it is finally melting by us…in fact today will be a balmy 51! Wishing you some sunshine and spring weather!
    We really enjoyed this meal…I’m not a big stuffing fan either, but this was pretty good! Glad everyone enjoyed it…I applaud you for making this on a work night! Happy weekend!

  7. This was a quick one. I am sorry you still have snow. Cozy up with your book, spring will be here soon!

  8. Your meal looks wonderful! I have kind of the same memories as you (sans the trauma), though to be fair, all of those inner bits were cooked before putting through the grinder. The whole meal looks terrific though - I didn't get to the green vegetables either - oh well!

    It won't be long before you see some crocus or a daffodil peeking through the snow - hang in there!!

  9. Enjoyed your post! Lovely meal you got there!

  10. My childhood thanksgiving memories include my step-father running through the house with a flaming dish of stuffing and throwing it out the back door into the snow to quell the flames. May I point out that this was not a one time event. Rather, burnt stuffing was an almost annual tradition. Though I only remember it bursting into actual flames twice. Luckily, it was only the extra stuffing which burnt. The stuff in the bird was usually fine.

  11. Well played on not worrying about green veg etiquette. The mustard potatoes alone sounded insanely good (can you tell the house is again doing low carb...) and I know how good the little birdies were. Gosh I love that stuffing- I could have eaten it out of the pan after I browned it. And I am with you on the innards and misc items being ground in the stuffing. No thank you. I was delighted that my little birds "unluckily" did not have any treats inside them. Audible sigh of relief in my kitchen. Enjoy Runner Girl's time home. My peers at work are already saying they fear the summer break since a few of them had enough of the college kids after about day two of staying up on xbox all night, cooking and messing up the kitchen and then sleeping all day. My BU son had a tough time of it by going to Cancun - thank goodness he made it back in one piece :)

  12. Just got these done this weekend. I feel a massive catch up week coming. Not a big hen fan as they are not so elegant to eat desire their miniature status. Why are we doing this one in March again?

  13. Hi Cher! I really enjoyed reading your post :) The stuffing was good and they were not any questionable bird parts inside so this is one I will be using again! Spring has come to my part of the world...it was 25C today and all the trees are starting to come ack to life again! I hope it comes by your side soon too! Have a great week!

  14. I love this post, it looks delicious! Roasted chicken stuffed to perfection :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. This is actually the first time I've enjoyed stuffed chicken. I do think making it myself, and knowing exactly what goes in it, helps. The potatoes sound delicious!


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