Gluten-Free Roasted Cornish Hens with Cannellini, Brown Rice and Red Pepper Stuffing

It is definitely possible to eat gluten-free, or at least low-gluten and not subsist on rice cakes. I should know.
I like rice cakes as a base for lots of stuff, but enough is enough! Add to this a temporary ban on sugar and other things...Yikes! I don't have diabetes, but I've done my share of time around it, and that has been helpful. Below is a nice recipe for a very presentable platter of :

Rock Cornish Hens with Cannellini, Brown Rice, and Red Pepper with Clam Sauce

2 Rock Cornish Hens cleaned and rubbed generously with olive oil; placed in a greased roasting/broiling pan.
Rub with: 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons Spanish Paprika.
Add 1 cup water or broth in bottom, to prevent drying out.

Start by broiling the hens- I'm talking at least 500 degrees here. I mean BROIL those biddies.
This is done for 10-12 minutes, or until the hens are lightly browned and slightly crispy. It seals in the juices.

While those are browning, in a large bowl combine:
1 large red pepper, diced 1/2 inch
1 large leek, green stalk only- diced small
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
ALOT  of fresh rosemary leaves (3 TB dried, 1/4 cup fresh, haha thought I wouldn't tell you, huh?:)
15-20 oz plain cooked cannellini beans (or Great Northern beans, which are grainier)
1-2 oz or 3-5 green Indian chilies (vary by desired heat) This is added primarily for flavor, however.
3 cups plain cooked brown rice
4 anchovy fillets chopped
2 teaspoons salt and pepper

 Once the stuffing is combined, remove the birds and stuff lightly, making sure to leave room for drainage and ventilation. Allow the bulk to just spill out into the roasting pan and arrange as you please. Save some rosemary/veg for garnish. These can be dressed up very nicely.

Slllloooowww roast the hens and stuffing on 325 degrees for at least 1and1/2 - 2 hours.
Check them every 25-30 minutes and baste with their own juices, add more water or perhaps chicken broth if needed. The result will be birds with a crispy skin and very tender on the inside. This is like making Greek-Baked Chicken.

When the birds are out, whip up the clam sauce....

Clam Sauce
- for more info on proper clam prep- check out this page
6 anchovy fillets - chopped
at least 8-10 oz shelled clams with 1-2 cups of broth/liquor -
(Wash well and steam in plain water until they open.
Since 12-15 clams in 1lb, use at least 2 lbs shelled clams to have enough.)
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
1TB olive oil or butter
1/2 cup thick greek yogurt (Surrrprise!)

Heat a deep skillet on medium low, add olive oil or butter. If using butter, the butter should not brown. To this, include the garlic and cook until it is just tender- 2-3 minutes. It shouldn't brown. All at once, add clams and broth, it will be sizzling, and "cream up". The color of the liquid will be opaque and will blend nicely with the garlic. Let it sautรจ about 2 minutes, stirring for even cooking. Add extra broth, another cup, if needed for volume. Continue to simmer at least 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. It curds if cooked, so add the yogurt after cooking. The sauce will be very creamy and smooth. Pour over birds or serve on the side...
Happy Eating!


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