This is about as simple as it gets. I roast four game hens at a time. I can only eat half a game hen myself, but some people can get through a whole one (especially teenage boys). I rub the birds with Sel Epicé, a spice blend I make once or twice a year. It keeps a good 12 months in a sealed container on a cool pantry shelf. It works well on chicken, or turkey, or cute little game hens.
Roasted Game Hens (4-8 servings)
- 3 tablespoons Sel Epicé (posted on my blog ages ago)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (no need for extra virgin – inexpensive olive oil will do)
- 4 defrosted game hens
- vegetable spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse the game hens in cool water and discard any pieces from the central cavity (necks, whatever).
Mix the Sel Epicé and the olive oil in a small bowl.
Using your hands rub about half of the Sel Epicé mixture all over the birds – including inside the central cavity.
Place a rack in the middle of a large roasting pan. Spray the rack with vegetable spray so that the birds don’t stick. Place the birds side by side, breast side down on the rack.
Place the rack in the middle of the preheated oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Check the birds after one hour. If they have turned a lovely golden brown they are ready to be turned. If not, wait until they turn color, then remove the birds from the oven and using a pair of tongs turn the birds breast side up for the remainder of the cooking period. Baste the birds with the reserved Sel Epicé/olive oil mix. Check the birds again in 45 minutes. Depending on their size and how cold they were when you first placed them in the oven they should finish cooking in just under 2 hours. They are done when the juices run clear. I usually test one bird and slice right where the thigh attaches to the bird. If the bird starts to get too brown but is not quite cooked place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the bird so that the skin is protected from further browning.
Once the birds are done, remove it from the oven and allow it to sit 10 minutes before serving. Cut the birds in half down the center and serve, or serve whole. We love serving these hens with Tomato Coulis, posted here a few months back.