Isn’t it amazing how an experience with food can create an indelible memory? I remember very clearly the first time I ever tasted a Cornish game hen. I had just had my first child, we were young, broke and struggling as we tried to figure out this new human we had brought home from the hospital. We were also bone tired. Cooking wasn’t happening in our house. A friend offered to bring us dinner, and she showed up with smiles, words of encouragement and the most amazing Roasted Game Hens with Fingerling Potatoes! They were tender, seasoned perfectly, absolutely delicious and made our tiny apartment smell heavenly. Thirty three years later I remember that meal like it was yesterday.
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Roasted Game Hens with Fingerling Potatoes
I have a feeling I will remember the second time I ate Cornish game hens just as vividly as the first time, because it happened in a little gem of a neighborhood in Paris called St. Germaine.
St. Germaine is a village in Paris built around the Abbey-St. Germaine-Des-Pres, but it feels more like an intimate little neighborhood.
My husband and I spent a day riding bikes around St. Germaine. The weather was perfect, it doesn’t get better than springtime in Paris!
St. Germaine is a five minute walk from the Louvre and is actually where we would have preferred to stay. Less traffic and less noise than central Paris and everywhere you look, you see a scene like this…
…and I am not kidding, street musicians are playing jazz in the background!
And the food…oh the food! Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian, you name it St. Germaine has it! Literally a cafe on every corner.
We were trying to decide on a cafe for dinner when we stumbled upon this tiny grocery store called L’Epicerie. The shelves were overflowing with fresh produce, the deli counter was filled with freshly made salads, breads, vegetable dishes, and even roasted Cornish game hens with fingerling potatoes! So we changed our dinner plans and bought the chicken, potatoes, a carrot salad, and an avocado salad and rode our bikes back to the banks of the River Seine for a casual river view picnic. We had no plates so we ate off the bags the food came in, and we would have been happy to do that every night. Good, healthy food is available everywhere in Paris!
It was such an enjoyable evening and of course the meal reminded me of that sweet and exhausting time when we were just starting our family. Now, here we are, six children and five grandchildren later celebrating 35 years of marriage on the banks of the River Seine in Paris!
When we arrived home to Southern California a week later, ‘Roasted Game Hens and Fingerling Potatoes’ was the first meal I made. It was, and forever will be a meal I will never forget!
The Recipe: Cornish Game Hens with Fingerling Potatoes
Tips and what you will need: fingerling potatoes are small, oblong potatoes that when cooked, have a very creamy texture. They can be found in almost all grocery stores. You will need a large cast iron skillet, herbs de Provence, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. When making chicken I use my battery operated pepper grinder (affiliate links) so I can handle chicken with one hand and season with the other avoiding cross contamination.
‘Roasted Cornish Game Hens and Fingerling Potatoes’ was the first meal I made after my trip to France. It was, and forever will be a meal I will never forget!
- 2 Cornish game hens, around 2 lbs (or slightly less) each
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half or quartered depending on size
- 5 shallots, peeled and quartered
- sea salt
- fresh pepper
- herbs de provence
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven rack in center position.
Place sliced potatoes and shallots in cast iron skillet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Toss. Set aside.
Wash hens and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and herbs. make sure all sides are oiled and seasoned
Place hens on top of potatoes, breast side up and put in oven.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until juices run clear.
Enjoy friends! If you need to play catch up, here are my other Europe posts: London part 1, London part 2, London part 3, Paris part 1, Paris part 2, Paris Part 3, Ireland Part 1, Ireland Part 2, and Ireland Part 3. You can also check out the details of our trip on Instagram here.
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You can do it all….photography, cooking, travel planning (ok…we have Steve to thank for that), AND you look adorable the entire time…so fashion for travel. I pinned at least 6 in different boards. xoxo
Adorable…homeless…it’s kind of the same lol. Thanks Chris! I love that you pin. That helps me out:)
Catching the sun flare! Will have to remember that. 🙂
Haha! The old sun flare trick:)
Amazing! You look like you had such an amazing trip! I must put a trip like this on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing!
This sounds so good! My husband loves game hens … I’ll have to make this for him. Beautiful photos!
Thanks Emily <3
Okay, what’s this sun flare that you and Rachel are talking about? Is it when the lens catches the sun?
I love the meal you ended up having, from the grocery store. Isn’t that one of the best parts of traveling? The impromptu gems you find? What a wonderful anniversary trip you had!!!
Thanks and yes Megan exactly, when the lens catches that flare of light from the sun. That picture wasn’t the best example as the flare wasn’t that big. And yes, this trip was beyond anything I ever could have expected or believed!
How fabulous! We love to travel and eat our way around a city.
Looks like you had an amazing time in Paris. Such an amazing city. I don’t think I’ve ever had game hens before but you certainly make me wanna give them a try. Thanks for the travel and photo tips as well.
Thanks Krystal! It was the trip of a lifetime!
What beautiful pictures. I love the fingerling potatoes.
Thanks April. And me too!
This area of Paris is definitely looking very interesting for when we get there. Thanks for all the tips, great food and pictures! Happy anniversary Linda.
Patti I loved St. Germaine! Of course it’s up to personal preference, we would have lost the view and a little convenience but we could have spent half as much and received better service:)
what a great experience.
More gorgeous photos, what a great trip!
So quaint and beautiful. All the food looks great too.