Sugar Free Spring Roasted Game Hen

Do you ever get the feeling the only way you can get your kids to eat meat is by going to a fast food restaurant? Because there are some days that my kids make it very clear to me that all they want are chicken nuggets. When this started becoming an issue I knew it was time for me to use my creativity when it came to meats. I couldn’t cook the same old chicken for dinner every night or else they’d get sick of it, so I started using all different types of meats, including some Game Hen!

If you’re afraid of using different meats, trust me when I say I was terrified at first! But now, I have a large variety of things I can cook up for dinner, and they are all different and delicious. For the Game Hen specifically, I like to add a little bit of spice to it, so I use some red pepper flakes. It just adds a little punch to the dish but doesn’t overpower it. This is one of the things I do to give it a different flavor compared to other chicken dishes I make. I try to teach my kids about the many flavors there are and the different ways you can change up some recipes, and because of those teachings they love trying new things!

Clean eating can get hard during those summer months because you’re always on the go. So for me, I am always creating recipes that can be eaten as leftovers, like this one. Chicken for dinner and a chicken sandwich for lunch the next day. And with this recipe you know you’ve got the flavors while having something filled with protein. It’s the perfect, healthy dinner that is something new and exciting to try!

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Brine:

6 Cornish Game Hens

2 ¼ gallons Blue Moon Ale

3 large Lemons, sliced

¾ cup Salt

6 cups Ice

1 cup whole Garlic cloves

3 tbsp. mixed whole Peppercorns

For Roasting:

6 large Shallots, peeled and sliced in half from root to stem

24 Cipollini Onions, peeled

1 Bunch Marjoram

1 large Lemon, zested and juiced

1 lb. Sweet Cream Butter, room temperature

½  bunch Chives

1 tsp. Red pepper flakes

Salt and Pepper

For Garnishing:

½ bunch Chives

Sweet & Tangy Tomato Fennel Jam

Directions:

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, add the ale, salt, garlic cloves, lemon slices and peppercorns. Cook, stirring frequently, until the salt has dissolved, remove from heat. Add the ice, stir until dissolved.
  2. Rinse the game hens inside and out, place in brining bags. Pour the brine over the hens, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Remove hens from the Brine. Pat dry, inside and out, follow instructions for trimming and butterflying the whole Hens in the BHG link. To butterfly the game hens for roasting: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/handling-meat/butterflying-a-cornish-hen/
  4. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a pan with foil or use an anodized roasting pan.
  5. Chop up chives, red pepper flakes, marjoram and zest. Add to the room temperature butter with the lemon juice and whip together.
  6. Sprinkle with pepper liberally. Place on pans arranged skin side up, place the peeled shallots underneath the butterflied hens. Rub each of the hens liberally with the lemon herb butter. Arrange whole Cipollini onions around the hens.
  7. Roast at 400°F basting hens every 15 minutes with the pan juices. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 165°F in the thigh.
  8. 30 minutes into roasting; add the grapes and asparagus. Roast for 20 more minutes then check the temperature of the hen thighs.
  9. Serve immediately with tomato fennel jam and minced chives.

 

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Sugar Free Spring Roasted Game Hen
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