Sunday, March 8, 2009

Here chicky chicky....

There really isn't a grand and elaborate story behind this one. My husband, Jon, and I were in the butcher shop one day and we came across these "mini chickens". They looked like a fun cooking experiment.

We like to have friends over for dinner and try new recipes out. I bought 2 hens, enough for 4 people and came up with this recipe. It was a winner and is often requested when it's our turn in the dinner party rotation.

Oven Roasted Hens with Veggies


2 game hens, I prefer Tyson brand* thawed
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS olive oil
4-6 baby red potatoes
8 oz thawed artichoke hearts or one can artichokes, packed in water, well drained
thawed pearl onions, optional
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450.

Mix together seasonings, oil, and garlic.

Cut potatoes into bite size chunks. Toss veggies in oil. Place on one side of a shallow roasting pan fitted with a baking rack. Rub hens with remaining oil. Place on opposite side of pan. Drizzle all with any leftover oil. Tent veggies with foil.

Roast for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Remove foil roast 25 minutes longer. The juices should run clear and veggies should be fork tender with a golden hue. Properly cooked poultry should reach an internal temp of 180 degrees** on a meat thermometer. If you don't have one, get one. It's the only way to be 100% certain your food is done.

To serve, cut each hen in half. I use kitchen shears to cut up the back side and down the breast side. This way each person gets some white meat and some dark meat.

* You will often see these listed as Cornish game hens or Cornish rock hens

** To ensure juicy meat I take my bird out slightly under this (because of carry over cooking), between 170-175 and let it finish cooking as it rests under tented foil. I always double check the finished temp is 180 before serving.

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