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The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook
by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Chowning's Tavern Roast Game Hens with White Wine Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4


• 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, divided
• 1/2 pound small mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
• 1/4 cup flour
• 2 cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken stock
• 1/2 cup dry white wine, preferably from Burgundy
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
• 4 game hens (1¼ pounds each)


Preheat the oven to 450°F, lightly oil a rack, and set it in a large roasting pan.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to drain on paper towels. In the skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the flour and stir until well blended and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, add the mushrooms, and simmer 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Reheat over low heat before serving if made in advance.

Rub the game hens with the remaining 2 tablespoons softened butter. Season well with salt and pepper. Arrange, breast side up, on the oiled rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Roast the game hens, basting often, until golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced at the thickest part of the thigh, about 45 minutes-1 hour. Let sit, loosely covered with foil, for about 10 minutes before serving.

Place the hens on individual plates and spoon over a small amount of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.


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