Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Toasted Bread Crumbs
- ACTIVE: 15 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 55 MIN
- 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
- 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.
- 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°.
- 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.
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.