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Roasted Citrus Herb Game Hens with Vegetables

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

Course dinner, Main Course
Keyword gluten free, Paleo, roast chicken, whole30
Prep Time 15 minutes
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 pepperĀ 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!