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Boning Cornish Game Hen

A problem with replacing large fowls with small fowls is that there is not a lot of room for stuffing in the small fowl.  A way to expand the cavity for more stuffing is to bone the fowl; however, boning sounds like a lot of extra work.  It is actually not as hard as one imagines and could be done in less than 10 minutes per bird after a little practice so that when stuffed, it looks like an unboned bird.  All that is needed (beside the bird) is a good sharp boning or utility knife.

Begin by making a slit across the tail bone from the cavity side close to the back just enough to cut through the bone and not the outer skin.  Insert the point of the knife under the skin along the outside bone with the blade towards the bone and scrape along the edge until all the meat is separated around the cavity on the bottom carefully following the contour of the bones (this is especially true when in the chest area).

Continue moving up the back in this manner until the thigh connections are reached (do not try and rush the first time to get an idea of the motions).  Once the thigh connections are reached, carefully insert the knife point into the joint and pop the thigh bone from the hip (there may have to be some cutting of the cartilage to get the bone to pop out of the joint) by twisting the knife (the thigh and leg bones are left on).  After the thigh bones have been separated from the hip, resume the scraping procedure until the wing joints are reached.

Use the same procedure on the wing bones as used on the thigh bones (the wing bones are also left on), then return to the scraping until the neck hole is reached.  Carefully cut around this edge with out breaking the skin.  Sections of bone may be removed at various points to get them out of the way once the bones have been separated from the outer meat and could be safely cut from the the remaining bone.

Always remember to cut away from the outer meat and skin and keep the blade towards the bone when scraping.  When finished, if properly done, the bird can be laid out such that it would look like a bird with out bones.  At this point, the stuffing can be inserted (being careful not to break the skin) until the bird once again looks like a fat bird.

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