When it comes to incredible, healthy comfort food you can’t beat Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables. Easy to prepare, stunning to look at, and oh so aromatic and flavorful. Truly a delight for the senses!
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Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables in a white pan

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables:

We love roasted chicken, but now that it’s just the two of us we opt for organic game hens, rubbed in herbed butter and roasted to perfection! And just the right portion size. Of course if you are cooking for more than two, use a roasting pan and you can double or even triple the recipe.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables garnished with parsley in a pan with blue dish cloth

The Veggies:

Sweet shallots, brightly colored rainbow carrots, and potatoes round out this beautiful meal.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables in a pan on white surface


I definitely like to keep meals easy. And while this meal requires a little prep, after that you just   pop it in the and let the hens and vegetables roast together in one pan for easy clean up. It cooks while you go do other things, like check your Instagram.

Two Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables in a pan surrounded by chopped parsley

Love Cornish Game Hens?

Try my Cornish Game Hens with Fingerling Potatoes!

The Recipe: Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables

Tips and what you need: make sure to allow time for hens to completely thaw and then remove from the oven an hour before cooking to allow to come to room temp before cooking. You will need a cast iron or oven safe pan.

Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables
Prep Time
15 mins

A delicious one pan meal for two! Paleo and Whole 30.

Course: dinner, Main Course
Keyword: gluten free, Paleo, roast chicken, whole30
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 2 1 pound game hens (room temp)
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2" pieces (I used rainbow carrots)
  • 2 medium size rose potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp (can be subbed with ghee)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste, be generous
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary. 1 sprig leaves chopped, 2 left whole
  • 3 cloves garlic (one minced, the other two left whole)
  • zest of half a lemon, cut other half into wedges
Prep Chicken:
  1. Be sure hens are completely thawed and remove them from fridge an hour before cooking so they can come to room temp. Rinse under warm water inside and out, pat dry with paper towels set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center position

  3. Prep veggies and place in cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, drizzle with olive oil, generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss

Prep Herbs and Butter:
  1. Strip leaves from thyme sprig and chop, strip leaves from one sprig rosemary and chop (about 1 teaspoon), mince 1 clove garlic. Zest half the lemon and cut the second half into two wedges.

  2. Use a fork to mash soft butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, thyme, chopped rosemary and generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper together. Melt butter mixture, set aside

  3. Make two small wells in pan by pushing the veggies to the side and set hens in each well. Use hands or pastry brush to rub/brush herb butter mixture onto chicken 

  4. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, rotating pan a half turn 30 minutes into cooking (note: ovens are notoriously inconsistent and cooking time can vary depending on size of bird and altitude. Juices should run clear and internal temperature should be 165 degrees. You can use a meat thermometer if you want to take the guess work out of it)

  5. If chicken isn't quite browned enough, turn on broiler for a few minutes to brown. When hens are done, remove from pan, tent with foil and allow to "rest" for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and put pan with veggies back into the oven while you wait.

  6. To plate: place veggies and chicken onto plates, drizzle with pan drippings and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve and enjoy!



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