California Central Coast Recipes

Rock Cornish Game Hens Balsamico

This is an absolutely divine way to serve Rock Cornish Game Hens!—It’s quite unusual and has a taste and dramatic presentation that will make your dinner guests crave for more. If you use Rock Cornish Game Hens, get yourself a couple cooking bricks to press the hens flat. I use a weighted bacon press. They're available at kitchen stores up and down the California Central Coast.

If you're cooking for more than four, I like to use chicken thighs for this –thighs are not too fatty but have lots of meat and more importantly they stay moist.. --With thighs there's no need for a weighted brick.

Serve this with roasted potatoes with onions or brown rice (the sauce is delicious!) and a green vegetable such as peas or green beans and a salad and you’re set to impress!

This reheats tasting almost better than the first time around—so it’s smart to make extra for a “leftover supper.” ©2018, Rock Cornish Game Hens Balsamico
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 Rock Cornish Game Hens , split at breast and butterflied
1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly cracked black pepper ,several grinds to taste
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth , (If chicken broth for this recipe is too wimpy, consider using beef broth.)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 Tablespoons cold butter.

2 12 inch nonstick skillets
2 Bacon presses

Preparation Directions.

1 Rinse Rock Cornish Game Hens and pat dry. Cut off excess fat or skin.

2 Split at the breast and butterfly (See photo)

3 Season with salt and pepper. In a nonreactive (because of the vinegar) large frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add poultry, place weight on top and brown 10-15 minutes or until all sides are browned. Remove poultry from pan and drain off excess fat in skillet.

4 Add half the broth to pan, bring broth to boil, scraping up bits of poultry off bottom of pan.

5 Return poultry to skillet, turn heat up to medium, when starting to simmer, reduce heat to low. Simmer 20-25 minutes or until poultry is cooked throughout but still juicy.

6 Remove poultry from pan. Put aside and cover to stay warm.

7 Add wine and vinegar to pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up bits and pieces from bottom of pan. Boil until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup---about 5 min. Remove from heat and add cold butter; stir until melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Cut poultry in half through breasts. Place poultry back in sauce for a couple minutes, coating both sides.

8 Place each game hen half on individual dinner plates. Spoon sauce over poultry and serve as suggested above.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Wine suggestion: A young but robust Red such as a Sangiovese or a Zinfandel.

A tip from Sue!

The difference between white, black and red pepper

Do you know the difference between white, black and red pepper?

White pepper gives you an "immediate hot." Black pepper develops more slowly as you chew, while red pepper has a delayed kick or hotness.