Basil Roasted Game Hen

An incredible savory dish, Basil Roasted Game Hen offers a depth of flavors down to the bone. You'll forget that you're eating white meat from the chicken family. Let's be honest, chicken white meat can be very bland and if roasted or baked beyond the "point", it tends to become very dry. Fear not, follow this recipe and these little game hens will succulent and tender down to the last bite of breast meat.

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  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200c).
  2. Rinse and pat dry each game hen and set aside.
  3. Place butter, olive oil, basil, parsley, mustard, garlic salt, black pepper, salt, and Cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  4. With a spoon, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
  5. With each game hen, carefully separate the skin from the breast and back meat, including thighs with your index finger.
  6. Once skin is loosened, carefully add a level teaspoon of the butter mixture to each quadrant between the skin and the meat.
  7. Massage the surface of the skin with your thumb until butter mixture is well distributed throughout the back, thighs, and breast of each game hen.
  8. Place hens in a large greased baking dish that is at least 1 inch deep.
  9. Place in oven and bake at 400 (200) for 15 minutes, then turn down heat to 375 and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes, basting with some of the remaining butter mixture every 15 minutes, with a brush.
  10. When ready, remove from the oven, place hens on a large serving platter.
  11. Over medium heat, place baking dish with pan drippings on stove top burner and add the peanut sauce to liquid.
  12. Use a spatula to deglaze the pan and stir until peanut sauce is well blended and sauce comes to a slow bubbling boil.
  13. Remove from heat and add any remaining butter mixture to the sauce and stir until butter is well incorporated into sauce.
  14. Pour a few spoons of the sauce over each game hen and pour remaining sauce in a sauce bowl. Serve hot, 1/2 game hen per person.


  1. I just finished dinner and you went and made my mouth water. How can that happen? I'm full, stuffed, content. But I want more; of that. It looks amazing, Nick. Truly and honestly delicious. I've never cooked with game hens, but I'm willing to give them a go!

  2. Mom Chef... thank you so much for the compliments. It's much appreciated. I can tell you from direct experience, this dish was fantastic! I prepared it last night for my guests and they went gagga! Thank again. Nick