When it comes to cooking for two, you just can’t beat these Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables. Easy to prepare, stunning to look at, and oh so aromatic and flavorful. Truly are a delight for the senses!
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We love roasted chicken, but now that it’s just the two of us we opt for organic game hens, rubbed in herbed butter and roasted to perfection! Just the right portion size.
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Sweet shallots, brightly colored rainbow carrots, and potatoes round out this beautiful meal.
Couples, we definitely like to keep meals easy. This meal is popped in the oven with the hens and vegetables together, roasting in one pan for easy clean up. It cooks while you go do other things, like check your Instagram.
The Recipe: Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables
Tips and what you need: make sure to allow time for hens to completely thaw and then remove from the oven an hour before cooking to allow to come to room temp before cooking. You will need a cast iron or oven safe pan.
A delicious one pan meal for two!
- 2 1 pound game hens
- 1/4 cup butter, room temp (can be subbed with ghee)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
- 3 sprigs rosemary, 1 sprig chopped, 2 left whole
- 3 cloves garlic (one minced, the other two left whole)
- zest of half a lemon, cut other half into wedges
- Sea salt and pepper to taste, be generous
- 6 rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced into 2" pieces
- 2 medium size rose potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Be sure hens are completely thawed and remove them from fridge an hour before cooking so they can come to room temp. Rinse under warm water inside and out, pat dry with paper towels set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center position
Prep veggies and place in cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, drizzle with olive oil, generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss
Strip leaves from thyme sprig and chop, strip leaves from one sprig rosemary and chop (about 1 teaspoon), mince 1 clove garlic.
Use a fork to mash soft butter, minced garlic, thyme, chopped rosemary and generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper together
Place one whole rosemary sprig, one whole clove garlic and one lemon wedge into the cavity of each hen
Use hands to rub herb butter mixture onto chicken (it will be thick, no worries, that's how it should be)
Make two small wells by pushing the veggies to the side and set hens in each well. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, rotating pan a half turn 30 minutes into cooking (note: ovens are notoriously inconsistent and cooking time can vary depending on size of bird and altitude. Juices should run clear and internal temperature should be 165 degrees. You can use a meat thermometer if you want to take the guess work out of it)
When hens are done, remove from pan, tent with foil and allow to "rest" for 10 minutes. Put pan with veggies back into the oven while you wait.
To plate: place veggies and chicken onto plates and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve and enjoy!
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