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Guinea Hen Roasted with Pistachio Butter

Source: The American Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours 15 Minutes
  Serves 8
Game Birds like wild turkey, quail, or pheasant were tradtional Thanksgiving fare on the prairie. Moist and tender guinea fowl, the "watch chickens" of the Midwestern farmyard, might persuade you to put squawk instead of gobble in your holiday menu.
For the Pistachio Butter:
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped fresh savory
Pepper to taste
For the Guinea Hens:
2 guinea hens, about 2 1/2 pounds each OR 3 or 4 1-1 1/2 pound(s) Cornish game hens
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
TO MAKE PISTACHIO BUTTER: Arrange the pistachios in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F. oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Place the toasted pistachios, butter, shallots, lemon juice, and savory in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely chopped. Season with pepper to taste; set aside.

TO PREPARE THE HENS: Carefully separate the skin from the breast and legs by easing your index finger between the skin and the meat of each hen. Spread 1/4 of the Pistachio Butter between the skin and the meat of each Guinea hen with your finger or a narrow rubber spatula. (Use about 2 tablespoons for each Cornish game hen.) Reserve the remaining Pistachip Butter for basting. Cover and chill the hens for 1 to 2 hours.

Sprinkle each body cavity with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the onion, carrot, and celery. Divide the mixture evenly among each body cavity. Tuck the ends of the drumstick under the band of skin across the tail. If band of skin is not present, tie the drumstick securely to the tail. Twist wing tips under the back. Place the hens on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock or broth and the remaining Pistachio Butter. Cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Brush the hens with the Pistachio Butter-chicken stock mixture. Return the hens to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours more for the Guinea hens (40 to 50 minutes more for Cornish Game hens) or until the thermometer registers 180 degrees F., or until drumsticks move easily in their sockets and juices run clear. Remove hens from ovens and cover with foil. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
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Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 8
Calories: 340
Fat. Total: 23g
Fiber: 1g
Carbohydrates, Total: 5g
Sodium: 109mg
% Cal. from Fat: 61%
Cholesterol: 130mg
Protein: 29g
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