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Tuscan Style Roasted Game Hens (Serving Size: 6)

Tuscan cooks have a real appreciation for ingredients, often letting a beautiful ingredient speak for itself in a dish. Although Tuscan cuisine is fairly simple, don’t let that fool you it takes a lot of restraint to keep from overworking an ingredient. This recipe is perfect for entertaining. You can prepare the hens and keep them in the roasting pan, covered and refrigerated, for up to 24 hours before cooking.

 

1 onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

6 Rock Cornish game hens

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 thin slices pancetta

 

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine the onion, celery, and carrots in the bottom of a roasting pan. Set the hens on top of the vegetables, and drizzle with the olive oil.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, rosemary, sage, black pepper, and salt. Rub the herb mixture over the hens until well coated. Lay a piece of pancetta over the breast of each hen, and secure each piece with 2 toothpicks.

4. Roast the hens for 15 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees, and continue roasting until the hens reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees, about 45 minutes. Let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Wine Suggestion: The more refined flavors and quality of a reserve Chianti will showcase these simple roasted hens.