Stuffed Cornish Hens (or Stuffed De-boned Chicken Thighs)

Serves 4. Adapted by Corinne Cook from a recipe in “Louisiana Legacy,” published by the Thibodaux Service League, Inc., which said, “This dressing is good for any stuffing need — and you can ‘doctor’ it up easily with other goodies like water chestnuts, celery, pecans, etc.”

2 or 4 Cornish hens, washed and drained (quantity depends on if serving half or whole hen), OR 6 skinned and deboned thighs)

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

1 (6-oz.) box of long-grain and wild rice, prepared as directed on box

1 (4-oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained

3 strips bacon, cut into pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup chopped green onions

¼ cup butter, cut into pats

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Sprinkle hens or thighs with salt, pepper and garlic inside and out, or on both sides.

2. In medium skillet sauté bacon until soft. Add onion, green pepper and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft and until bacon is done. Remove with slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl.

3. Add cooked rice, mushrooms and green onions. Toss to mix well.

4. Stuff into hen cavity and place on (12-inch-by12-inch) square of heavy foil. Or, place rice serving on foil and top with half of the Cornish hen. Or, place the rice serving on a skinned and de-boned chicken thigh (trimmed of fat). Top dressing with half of another chicken thigh, if desired. Top with pat of butter.

5. Bring edges of foil together to seal packages well (without puncturing foil) and place in baking pan.

6. Bake in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes; open foil and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown.