Cornish Game hens are fun to cook - I mean it's like roasting a mini chicken! How fun! With January seeing a lot of us returning to healthy eating after binging on all types of treats, this is still super satisfying. Yummy vegetables in a lemon and leek sauce pair perfectly with the game hen and will fill you right up.
Artichoke & Garlic Roasted Game Hen with Winter Veggies
Savory game hens perfectly roasted with a side of sautéd brussel sprouts in a lemon caper and leek sauce.
2 Cornish Game Hens
2-4 TBS Artichoke & Garlic Olive Oil (divided)
1/2 C dry white wine or chicken/vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
2 TBL Artichoke & Garlic Olive Oil
2 TBL Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
1 leak, cut lengthwise, washed, and patted dry
1/2 C coarsely chopped pecans
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp turbinado or brown sugar
1/2 C Castelveltrano Olives, quartered
12-15 brussel sprouts, washed and cut in half
Wash and pat dry the game hens. Rub 1-2 TBL Artichoke and Garlic Olive Oil onto each bird. Marinate for at least 1 hour, then set oven temp to 375ºF. Salt and pepper the hens, add 1/2 cup any braising liquid such as white wine, vermouth, chicken or vegetable stock and roast in a covered pan or dutch oven for 30 minutes Remove the lid and roast 15 more minutes until the skins are golden brown and desired internal temp is reached for poultry.
Slice a whole lemon into about 6 slices and sauté’ over medium heat in 2 TBL of Artichoke and Garlic Olive Oil and 2 TBL of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. Remove from heat when lemons are soft and slightly golden.
Thinly slice 1 leek and sauté’ in the pan with the remaining olive oils. Also adding about 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans.
Remove the leeks and pecans and set aside when done, lightly salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tsp turbinado or brown sugar.
Prepare about a dozen small to medium Brussel sprouts and par boil or steam until moderately soft. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Transfer sprouts to a bowl that will fit in the ice bath. Cool the sprouts for about 5 minutes in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Set aside. While Brussel sprouts are cooling, slice about 3/4 cup of Castelvetrano green olives and set aside.
When the birds are resting from the oven, sauté the Brussel sprouts and the sliced olives in the pan for 3-4 minutes adding more of the Artichoke & Garlic olive oil if needed. Add the leeks and pecans, stir until combined and set the pan aside to plate the bird.
Transfer the whole game hen to a serving platter and add the vegetable mixture on the sides of the plate. Garnish the dish with the slices of reserved sautéed lemon and serve.
One game hen will serve two people. Cut the bird in half prior to serving and plate with the vegetables for an individual plate.
A light drizzle of balsamic vinegar is delicious on the vegetables, like Black Walnut, Pomegranate, Fig, Black Currant, etc.
Prosecco is our choice for wine pairing with this.