Roasted Game Hen with Root Vegetable Medley and Chardonnay-Tarragon Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 4)


  • 2 1-pound Cornish game hens
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay
  • 1/4 cup tarragon, chopped


  • 1 bunch baby turnips
  • 1 pound rutabagas
  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 6 whole shallots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper



Preheat oven to 400 F. Season the game hens with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, add the olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. When warm, add the game hen breast-side down. Sear for four minutes. Sear on all sides until golden all over. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the skin is crispy and the leg meat is no longer pink. Pierce a leg to check that the juice from each hen runs clear. (If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should read 165 F.) Place the game hens on a platter and keep warm.


Transfer the fat from the pan to a small bowl to cool, then discard. Place the pan back on the stove and add the butter. Melt on medium-low. Add the white wine and whisk together, increasing the heat to medium-high until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Set aside. Add the chopped tarragon to the sauce just before serving.


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Peel and chop the baby turnips, rutabagas, parsnips and carrots into one-inch pieces. You can simply cut the turnips in half and keep the carrots whole if they are small enough. Place the prepared vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with three tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a baking pan and put in the oven for 15 minutes.

Cut the shallots in half and toss in the same bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the shallots with the rest of the roasting vegetables in oven. Roast for another five to ten minutes or until tender.


Cut the hens in half. On four warmed plates, scoop some of the roasted root vegetable medley onto the center of the plate, then place the sliced hen on top. Warm the Chardonnay sauce on the stove, then whisk in the chopped tarragon. Add a spoonful of sauce to the top of each hen. Enjoy with a glass of Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay!