Spacer Game Hens in White Wine with Herbs
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I'm not so sure about the one-hen-per-person idea—the portions may be too large, depending on the size of your hens, and your appetite—and when I made this they needed considerably more than twenty minutes in the oven, so be sure to test for doneness.

2 Cornish game hens, halved, backbones removed
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 c dry white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season hens with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt butter in oil over moderately high heat. Add hens and sauté, turning once, about 4 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer the hens to a small baking dish.
  3. Add shallots to frying pan, reduce heat to low, and sauté until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Pour wine etc. over hens.
  4. Cover baking dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices.
  5. Raise heat to 425 degrees F. Uncover dish and bake 5 minutes, until hens are tender and skin is crisp.

Cheryl Sedaker, 365 Ways to Cook Chicken. (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), 114.

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Except where noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson