Game hens are even easier to prepare than chicken and help make your celebration more festive. Their buttery flavor complements roasted Brussels sprouts and chestnuts.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2008


Recipe Summary

1 hr 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

  • Remove giblets (if included) from game hens and trim any excess skin. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and rub half the thyme mixture under the skin. Tie legs together with kitchen string.

  • Heat butter and oil in a large roasting pan set over 2 burners on medium heat. Add the game hens and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Add onion to the pan, transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and roast for 20 minutes. Stir chestnuts and the remaining thyme mixture into the pan. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes more.

  • Transfer the game hens to a large cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Toss the vegetables with vinegar and bring to a simmer, gently stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Remove the string from the game hens, turn breast-side down and slice in half lengthwise using a large heavy knife, cutting straight through to the breast side. Serve the game hens with the vegetables.


Equipment: Kitchen string

Shopping tip: Cooked peeled chestnuts are available in jars in the baking aisle or with seasonal foods at many supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts

324 calories; protein 25.3g 51% DV; carbohydrates 41.2g 13% DV; exchange other carbs 2.5; dietary fiber 7.2g 29% DV; sugars 9.1g; fat 7g 11% DV; saturated fat 1.9g 10% DV; cholesterol 92.7mg 31% DV; vitamin a iu 884.2IU 18% DV; vitamin c 103.9mg 173% DV; folate 107.4mcg 27% DV; calcium 77.8mg 8% DV; iron 2.7mg 15% DV; magnesium 61.2mg 22% DV; potassium 978.7mg 27% DV; sodium 662.6mg 27% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 35% DV.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
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Rating: 5 stars
Phenomenal So Easy and Excellent Presenation! Absolutely our favorite way to have brussel sprouts! I didn't have chestnuts on hand so I substituted those for hazelnuts and it was amazing! Have made several times and plan to make again this year for Thanksgiving as there will just be 3 of us. Definitely in my top 10 recipes! Pros: Easy Way to Make Fancy Meal Delicious Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely DELICIOUS! Read More