Herb Roasted Game Hens with Pancetta

When entertaining, we will often serve game hens so that everyone can have their own hen. For this recipe, we served them whole, but when having guests over, we will usually cut the hens in half so that it is easier to eat and is a smaller portion. This recipe is really easy and the flavor of the hens was sensational.  It would even be good as a holiday meal and works great for a special occasion.  The vegetables soak up the flavor from the hens and the pancetta, making them decadently delicious.  Rice Pilaf or stuffing would make a great accompaniment or you could add potatoes to the vegetables for a simple one pot dinner.  We only cooked two hens since it was just the two of us, but we’ve provided the recipe for six people.

Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Pancetta
Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 6 Cornish Game Hens (approximate 24 oz each)
  • 1 Onion – roughly diced
  • 6 Stocks of Celery – roughly diced
  • 36 Baby Carrots (or 6 Large Carrots – roughly diced)
  • 2 Large Red Peppers – roughly diced
  • 3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped
  • 3 tsp Fresh Sage – finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 6 Thin Slices of Pancetta
Vegetables
Vegetables
Herbs
Herbs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees  Combine the onion, celery, carrots, and red pepper in the bottom of a roasting pan or baking dish.  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Set the hens on top of the vegetables and drizzle with olive oil.  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 with wooden toothpicks.  Roast the hens for 15 minutes.  Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast the hens until fully cooked, 45 to 60 minutes.  Let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

Hens on Bed of Vegetables
Hens on Bed of Vegetables
Herb Rubbed Hen
Herb Rubbed Hen
Pancetta on Hens
Pancetta on Hens
Roasted Game Hen with Pancetta
Roasted Game Hen with Pancetta

Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp

We made this as an appetizer for our Halloween party, but it would be just as good over a bed of linguine noodles.  The original recipe called for bay scallops, but we chose to use shrimp instead because we couldn’t get scallops.  Since we’re in Colorado, finding fresh seafood can sometimes be a challenge, but based on the way our guests gobbled them up, shrimp seemed to be a fine alternative.

Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp
Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Raw Shrimp – medium size, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) Softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Canned Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage – chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Lemon – cut in half

Instructions

In a bowl or food processor, combine the softened butter, pumpkin, sage, and salt.  Whisk or pulse until smooth.  Add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1/3 of the shrimp to the skillet, making sure that the shrimp aren’t crowded, and cook until pink, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin-sage butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Remove the shrimp from skillet and repeat the steps until all of the shrimp has been cooked.  Serve warm or at room temperature with picks.

Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Sauté Shrimp
Sauté Shrimp
Stir in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Stir in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Shrimp Sautéed in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Shrimp Sautéed in Pumpkin-Sage Butter