Who wouldn’t like to be served their own petite poultry for dinner? Here is a wonderful way to do just that! The recipe calls for quail, but we subbed in Cornish game hens since quail are not readily available at our local market. Stuffed with savory sausage and perfumed with lemon and parsley, the veg cooks alongside in one baking tray for an easy yet impressive treat that is served with a creamy, mustard sauce.
4 Cornish game hens (or quail)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bottle light-colored beer
2 fl. oz. honey
handful flat-leaf parsley
4 pork sausages
8 carrots, peeled, halved lengthways if thick
8 new potatoes
3 fl. oz. light cream (half and half)
1 heaped tbs. Dijon mustard
Heat the oven to 350°F. Season the hens with plenty of salt and pepper, then zest the lemon and rub the zest into the skin with the seasoning.
Juice the lemon, keeping the skins. Mix the lemon juice with the beer and honey; set aside.
Finely chop the lemon skins and the parsley. Remove the sausage from the casings and mix with the chopped lemon skins and parsley. Season. Stuff the hen cavities, pushing it in to fit. Take 4 long pieces of kitchen twine and truss the hens.
Place the hens breast-side down in a baking dish and add the carrots and potatoes. Pour over the beer mixture and cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and turn the hens breast-side up. Roast uncovered for another 25 minutes, or until the hens are golden and the juices run clear when pricked with a knife.
Remove the hens and veggies to a serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Drain the cooking juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 7-8 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in the cream and mustard, then check the seasoning. Pour the creamy sauce over then hens and veg to serve.