Although we ordinarily prefer our recipes to be easy as pie (or prepared by someone else), this OR favorite is perfect for the holidays despite the fact that it requires a bit of additional effort. We assure you that it is entirely worth the extra labor…plus the holidays are generally a PIA anyway.

The Grooming Box:

1 cup wild rice
1.5 pounds of banana squash
1 pound Italian sausage
1 white onion (peeled and chopped)
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dried currants (or other sweet, dried fruit chopped finely)
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 package (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
4 Cornish game hens
1/2 stick butter

The Hack:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart pot. Rinse and drain the wild rice, then add to the boiling water.  Cover and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer (covered), until cooked (roughly 40 minutes), then drain.

While the rice cooks, cut off and discard the pulp from the banana squash, then cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.  Crumble the sausage into a large pan over medium heat, stirring often until browned.  Remove the fat from the pan, keeping only 2 tablespoons.  Add the onion to the reserved fat, stirring often until lightly browned.  Add the dry white rice and toast, stirring frequently until it becomes slightly opaque (about 3 minutes). Add the chicken broth, currants, coriander, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the squash.  Stir, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Squeeze the liquid from the thawed spinach, add the spinach to the pan of wild rice, and mix gently. Cover and cook until warmed through, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the hens on a baking sheet, and stuff them with the slightly cooled wild rice mixture.  Brush butter over the surface of the hens and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and your “everyday seasoning” of choice (we recommend Trader Joe’s if you can get it!). Roast in a 400 degree oven, until golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 15 minutes before placing on individual plates.

Bon appetite!