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Le Cordon Bleu News, 10/01/2012
Recipe: Roast Game Hens with Corn Crêpes and Herb Salad
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Le Cordon Bleu Recipes

About this recipe

This is a recipe that could replace turkey this Thanksgiving. Instructions on how to make the perfect herb butter are provided, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly truss a bird. The game hens are moist and flavorful and your guests will be full and satisfied.

Recipe - Game Hen

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 1.5 hours


Principal ingredients
2 x 500 game hens (or poussins/chicken)
salt and freshly-ground pepper

Herb butter
50 g butter, softened
½ bunch each of tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

200 g chicken wings
30 g onion, chopped
30 g carrot, chopped
20 g celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
600 ml water
100 ml veal stock
salt and freshly-ground pepper

Corn crêpes
50 g unsalted butter
1 egg
50 ml heavy cream
50 g flour
250 g tinned corn, drained
salt and freshly-ground pepper

Herb salad
½ bunch each of tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
60 ml balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly-ground pepper
180 ml extra virgin olive oil

Edible flowers
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1.    Game hens: Using paper towels, pat the game hens dry. Using kitchen scissors, carefully remove the wing tips.

2.    Herb butter: In a bowl, combine the butter and the finely chopped herbs. Add the garlic and thoroughly combine. Reserve at room temperature.

3.    Make a space between the skin and the flesh of the game hens, beginning at the neck end to create a gap. Insert the herb butter into the gap without breaking the skin. The game hens are now ready for trussing. Truss the game hens: Pass a long piece of twine underneath the tail. Bring the ends of the twine up around each leg and crisscross the ends over the top. Bring the twine under drumsticks and pull both ends of the twine to pull the legs together. Then draw the ends of the twine along either side of the game hens and over the wing joints. Turn the game hens onto its breast side, cross the twine over the neck skin, and tighten the kitchen twine to pull the wings close to the body. Tie securely. Turn the game hens over onto its back and season.

4.    Jus: Brown the chicken wings in hot oil about 2 minutes on each side. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, water and veal stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes, skimming the surface often. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside. Correct seasoning.

5.    Corn crêpes: To prepare clarified butter, melt butter slowly in a saucepan without stirring. Skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat and let stand a few minutes until the milk solids settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour the clear yellow liquid (the clarified butter) into a container, leaving the milk solids in the bottom of the saucepan; discard the solids. In a bowl, beat the egg and the heavy cream together with a whisk. Add the flour in small increments, continuously whisking until thoroughly combined. Mix in the corn and season to taste. In a non-stick saucepan, add 15 g clarified butter and then once heated, place a 15 cm (5 inch) ring mold in the center of the saucepan. Using a spoon add some of the batter into the ring mold to cover the base. Cook until lightly golden on the underside. Remove the mold and using a spatula, carefully flip and cook the other side. Once cooked, remove from the heat and reserve. Repeat for remaining batter.

6.    Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).

7.    On a rack, place the game hens, drizzle with oil and season. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes. For an even color, baste the game hens often during roasting. Remove the game hens from the oven once cooked and brush with oil. To test the internal temperature, insert a thermometer between the thigh and the breast. The temperature should read 71°C (160°F).

8.    Herb salad: Remove the leaves from the herbs and reserve. In a bowl, add the balsamic vinegar. Gradually whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and then season. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the herb salad and toss to combine.

9.    To serve: Place the crêpe on the plate beside the game hen. Place a small spoonful of herb salad on top of the crêpe. Garnish the salad with an edible flower or two (optional).







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