Rosemary roasted Cornish hens make an elegant presentation when you are trying to impress guests. Cornish hens are a great alternative to turkey or chicken.
I received a selection of Geyser Peak wines to create a wine pairing recipe. All opinions are honest and my own.
It is my humble opinion that Cornish hens are under rated and under used. Growing up, my Mom made Cornish hens on a fairly regular basis. Then for years I kind of forgot about them, having them every now and then but it is just one of those meals that always seem to be saved for a special occasion.
Then kids came along and once ,while at the grocery, I saw Cornish hens. I thought my kids would like them since they love chicken. Well, they were a hit and I started serving them more frequently. When thinking about how to pair the Geyser Peak wines I knew I wanted to use their 2016 River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc. After tasting the intense fruit and citrus notes I knew it would compliment a Cornish hen meal. But how to prepare the hens?
My garden is overflowing with fresh rosemary so I knew that had to be involved. Because the hens are so small, as opposed to a larger whole chicken, they need to be treated delicately. I didn’t want to overpower with flavor. I melted butter with rosemary to infuse it and once everything was prepared and in the pan, I poured it over the hens first and then the vegetables.
So, let me tell you about Geyser Peak wines and winery. Many years ago, before kids, my husband and I would visit California wine country often, through our business. My kids are now teenagers but many years ago I had the privilege of visiting Geyser Peak. If you’ve ever been to wine country, Napa and Sonoma are very different. I would say that Sonoma is the more relaxed part of that area. Wineries are farther apart, making it seem less commercial. Both are absolutely beautiful, with great wineries and restaurants to visit.
Geyser Peak offers a range of wines for any palate. In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc, they also have a sparkling brut, appelation reds and whites, along with reserves for the familiar varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay. What is truly special about Geyser Peak is they also produce lesser known varietals such as Petit Verdot, a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, a rose of Cab Franc and an old vine Zinfandel. They also produce a nice variety of blends such as Meritage in addition to a couple of red blends.
Well, this dish was a total hit with the family and my husband and thought it was a great pairing with the Geyser Peak 2016 River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley. This wine has classic Sauvignon Blanc notes with a lot of fruit on the nose and palate but a nice smooth finish. It’s light and easy to drink and would be delicious for a summer gathering.
- 1 stick butter
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 8 carrot, peeled and evenly chopped
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 5 baking potatoes, cut into 1 - 2 inch slices
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 cornish hens, thawed, rinsed and patted dry
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a medium saucepan melt butter with rosemary springs. Remove from heat once melted.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string.
- Spread out chopped vegetables and rosemary in the bottom of large baking dish.
- Place the hens on top of the bed of vegetables. Pour melted rosemary butter over each hen and vegetables.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until juices run clear.
- Let hens rest before eating.