How do you celebrate Thanksgiving in an RV?
The simple answer is that you celebrate it the same way you would in a house made of bricks and mortar. We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in our RV every year since we started full-timing in our Entegra Coach in 2018. And we have spent each one differently. In our first year, we explored Joshua Tree National Park during the day and participated in a potluck dinner at the RV park where we stayed that evening. Year two brought us to Williamsburg, Virginia, near my brother’s family, where we celebrated Thanksgiving in his home, just a short drive from the campground. We’ve even celebrated with other full-time RVer friends in Grand Canyon National Park. Then the next year, Brian and I were on our own in Palm Beach City, Florida.
How do you cook Thanksgiving dinner for two?
Since it was just be the two of us, and our plans for the area revolved around exploring the local restaurant scene, cooking a turkey would have been too much food! Instead, I made these stuffed Cornish hens, mashed potatoes, squash and green beans with a creamy mushroom sauce.
10-12” saute pan, small metal or cast-iron roasting pan, knife, cutting board, wood spoon, mixing spoon, brush, and kitchen twine.
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped fine
1 stalk Celery, chopped fine
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 cup Dried Fruit (i.e., apricots, cranberries, cherries, and or raisins)
1/8 cup Pecans, roughly chopped
½ Tablespoon Sage, dry rubbed
½ Teaspoon Thyme, dried
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ cups Corn Bread Stuffing Mix
¾ cup Chicken Broth
2 Cornish Hens, thawed
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil or Melted Butter
1 Tablespoon Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
1. Preheat the microwave/convection oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat.
3. When the butter has melted, add chopped yellow onion and celery to the pan and saute until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently.
4. Add dried fruit, nuts, and garlic to the mixture, and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
5. Add seasonings (sage, thyme, salt, and pepper) to the vegetable mixture and saute for 30 seconds more.
6. Turn off the heat and mix in the cornbread stuffing, coating the bread with the vegetable mixture.
7. Add enough chicken broth to moisten the bread without it getting soggy.
8. Using a paper towel, pat the Cornish hens dry inside and out.
9. With a spoon or your hand, stuff each of the hens with half the bread mixture.
10. Truss the Cornish hen with kitchen twine.
11. Brush with olive oil or butter.
12. Season the Cornish hens with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
13. Place the Cornish hens breast side down in the roasting pan.
14. Cook in the microwave/convection oven for 20 minutes, then flip over to the breast side up.
15. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the hen and the stuffing reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
16. Serve and enjoy!!
Can you cook Cornish hens in an air fryer?
Yes! As an alternative, you can cook these Cornish hens in an Air Fryer. Start by preheating the air fryer to 380 degrees. Cook the hens breast side down for 18 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes breast side up.
What wine pairs with stuffed Cornish hens?
If you are a wine lover, you’re in luck! This dish can pair with a wide variety of wines. You might choose wine based on the fruit you use in your stuffing or you might pick fruit based on the wine you plan to serve. If you prefer white wines, I recommend an oaky Chardonnay for these hens. The fruit sweetness of the Chardonnay grape will play off the sweetness of the cornbread and dried fruit in the stuffing. Additionally, the oak will provide some spice and a little more weight to the wine, which will help it match the weight of the hens. Dried apricots and golden raisins in the stuffing will make this pairing sing.
If you’re a red wine lover, I recommend Pinot Noir. Again, the fruitiness of the grape variety will match the stuffing, especially if you include dried cranberries or cherries in the stuffing. Pinot Noir tends to be light to medium-bodied, preventing the wine from overpowering the hen. We enjoyed St. Innocent Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir from Oregon with our Cornish hens. It paired beautifully with them.
You might also try Rosé Champagne with this dish. After all, it is a holiday!