ROASTED GAME HENS RECIPE
Preparation - Medium
Prep: 20 min; Cook: 1 hr 15 min;
Total Time: 1 hr 35 min
Yield: Serves 4 - 6
This recipe for roasting Cornish game hens is adapted from a Tuscan recipe for spit-roasting small birds. Spit-roasting small birds like game hens is tricky, so I do these in the oven instead.
Roasting pan or baking dish large enough to accomodate birds.
- 1 thick slice pancetta or prosciutto
- 6 Rock Cornish game hens, each about 3/4 pound
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 6 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- 12 black olives (preferably small Gaeta or nicoise)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Ts extra virgin olive oil
- 6 thin slices pancetta or prosciutto
- MAKE sure that your birds are at room temperature.
- PREHEAT the oven to 400 degrees F.
- CUT the thick slice of pancetta or prosciutto in 6 equal portions. Tuck a piece of pancetta inside each bird, along with a sage leaf a bay leaf and 2 of the olives, pitted if you prefer. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the outsides of the birds and rub into the skin, rubbing with some of the olive oil at the same time. Wrap a thin slice of pancetta or prosciutto around each bird, stretching the meat to cover the bird well. Set the birds in a baking dish in which they will all fit comfortably.
- ROAST for 45 minutes, then turn down the oven to 325 degrees F. and continue roasting 30 to 45 minutes (for 'lo chef' it was in fact an hour and 15 minutes) longer, or until the birds are done and the juices run clear when the bird is pierced with a fork.
- SERVE immediately, with the pan juices as a sauce.