Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Toasted Bread Crumbs

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  • Servings: 6


  • 1 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • Six 1- to 1 1/4-pound Cornish game hens, halved
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the bread crumbs cool.

  2. Arrange the hen halves, skin side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush the hens with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the hens for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh registers 170°.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the parsley, vinegar, anchovies, capers, lemon zest, garlic, scallion, rosemary and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add the bread crumbs and toss to coat. Arrange the hens on a platter, top with the bread crumbs and serve.

Suggested Pairing

A fruity-style Chardonnay with hints of lemon and toast will accent those flavors in the bread crumb topping, while a brightly fruity Pinot Noir will highlight the juiciness of the game hens. Look for bottlings from California.

Contributed By Published October 2002

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