Where my little Kahlua cook booklet came from, I haven’t a clue. I don’t know if the booklet came with a bottle of the delicious elixir or if I picked it up in a grocery store check out line. All I know is that I’ve had my little booklet for over twenty years now. I say “booklet” because it’s much too small to be considered an actual “cook book”. It’s packed with all sorts of yummy recipes, all using Kahlua in some way or another. This recipe is one of my favorite. The game hens, when placed on a bed of long grain and wild rice, surrounded by grapes and sliced oranges, make a picture perfect presentation. Whenever I’m in the mood for some top shelf cooking without a lot of fuss, this is the recipe I turn to the most. It’s a Sunday Special in our house even when we aren’t expecting company. Just thinking about this awesome dish gets my mouth to water . . .
½ Cup Kahlua
¼ Cup Fresh Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
½ Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
¼ Teaspoon Paprika
3 Tablespoons Butter
4 Cornish Game Hens
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Orange, quartered & Peeled
1 Orange, sliced thin for garnish
1 Lemon, peeled & cut into 8 thin slices
1/2-3/4 Cup Seedless Green Grapes (approximately) for stuffing
Additional Red Grapes for garnish
Position oven rack to lower third position. Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
Peel and quarter 1 orange, set aside. Peel and slice lemon, set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine Kahlua with orange juice, lemon juice, mustard and paprika. Add butter. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 1 minute.
Rinse game hens under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity of each with salt and pepper. Place 1 slice of lemon under skin of each breast. Place 1 slice of orange into neck of game hen. Stuff cavity with grapes. Spoon 1 tablespoon Kahlua-baste into each cavity.
Truss or skewer legs and wings. Arrange hens, breast-side up in a shallow rimmed baking pan.
Cover hens loosely with foil and place in the oven. Immediately reduce oven to 375-degrees and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove foil, brush hens with Kahlua-baste. Continue cooking about 30 minutes, basting occasionally. If necessary, cover with foil to prevent over-browning. Remove hens from oven, remove trussing or skewers and transfer to serving platter. Tent to keep warm while making the sauce.
To make Kahlua Sauce add pan drippings to remaining Kahlua baste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Spoon over hens.
Garnish serving platter with additional grapes and orange slices. For a dramatic presentation, serve hens surrounded by Long Grain and Wild Rice.