Cornish Game Hens with Fresh Herbs

This recipe is designed for two game hens.  I like to figure one per person if I am entertaining since they make such a lovely presentation.  However, when cooking for my family we usually split them.

Two Cornish games hens, rinsed and patted dry

2 lemons

6 – 8 cloves of garlic

several springs of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, slightly softened

salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 400F.  Season the inside of the game hens with the salt and pepper.  Cut the ends off the lemons and cut into large pieces.  Stuff each hen with 2 cloves of garlic and equal amounts of the lemon chunks and fresh herbs.  Be generous with the herbs.

Loosen the skin slightly on the breast side and stuff 3 tbsp. of the butter under the skin on each hen.  Cross the drumsticks over each other and tie with kitchen twine.  Fold the wings as shown, by folding the shorter wing tip back and under.

Place the hens in a roasting pan.  Scatter the remaining garlic cloves and any remaining herbs and lemon around the hens. Season with salt.  Place in hot oven and roast for 20 minutes.  Turn oven down to 325F and continue to roast another 20 minutes.  Carefully turn the hens over and roast another 20 minutes. Turn back to breast side up and spoon pan juices over.  Continue to roast until golden in color and drumetts wiggle freely – or thermometer test reads 165.  Remove to a platter and spoon some of the remaining juices over.