I was mulling over the idea of stuffing the Cornish hen for our dinner the other evening, but had no bread or crumbs or anything that seemed like a good idea at the time and I mulled for quite some little while, too, without being struck by a good solution.
Then I remembered that, of all things, I had a few slices of pastrami in the fridge, left over from sandwiches a few days before. Pastrami stuffing? Who ever heard of such a thing? I decided to do it anyway.
Given the diminutive nature of Cornish hens, I chopped the mushrooms finely and minced onion and garlic. Sautéed them all in a little butter, then added minced pastrami - just two slices were plenty. Just as I went to stuff all that into the cavity, I thought instead to slide it under the skin before roasting. That just seemed like the good idea I had been seeking - sometimes, you just have to wing it.
The hardest part was working my fingers under the skin of the body without breaking it but I managed to do that, then spooned the "stuffing" under the skin a teaspoon at a time, working it around until it coated evenly the breast meat. Roasted that little bird in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (mysteriously, they take nearly as much time to roast as a full-size chicken), whacked it in half with my Hawaii brother's giant knife and we had as tasty a dinner as I've prepared in a month of Sundays.