Donna Hay's Roasted Spatchcocks with Port, Mushrooms and Lentils

I wanted to say: how easy is that? But that's Ina and this is Donna. While we often think of the word spatchcock in reference to the preparation of a chicken (butterflying it for ease and speed of cooking), in Donna Hay speak a spatchcock is also a very young chicken. Because they are unavailable here, I substituted game hens. 
You'll find this a fabulous fall or winter dish, especially when you've had a busy day. Just assemble your ingredients and throw them all together in a roasting pan. Voila! No effort at all. The chorizo gives the dish some zing and the port makes it all luscious.

Donna Hay's Roasted Spatchcocks Game Hens with Port, Mushrooms and Lentils
From Donna Hay Magazine, Issue #82

4 game hens, tied
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups green lentils
3 dried chorizo, sliced
5 shallots, peeled and halved
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups assorted mushrooms
1 1/2 cups port
5 cups hot chicken stock


Preheat oven to 475. Place all ingredients except game hens in a large deep sided roasting 
pan. Place game hens on top, sprinkle with olive oil and then salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for 30 minutes* or until game hens are golden and cooked through. 
*Note: That's a hot oven, but it still took mine 45 minutes. So make certain the temperature in the thickest part of the leg is 165°F  and the juices run clear.


  1. What a pretty dish with lots of my favorite ingredients. I love little game hens, but I think the mushrooms and lentils with port would also be good on their own.

  2. I love the pic Barbara! So fallish and appetizing..rustic and rich!

  3. I've definitely been in a chicken mood since the weather has turned a bit cooler and I'd love to make this! How pretty! I actually looked at game hens at the market yesterday and now wish I would have bought some. Everything about this dish is so appealing, Barbara. I also did not know that a spatchcock also referred to a small chicken/1

  4. What a great hands-off dish! I love that it all cooks together, and the lentils and mushrooms sound so good. Can't wait to give this a try!

  5. Absolutely looks beautiful and with lentils and mushrooms and port....wow. Will have to file this one. Thanks.

  6. Barbara this dish look absolutely delicious!! I love the lentils :)

  7. I adore Donna Hay's recipes. This is such a pretty and flavourful dish, Barbara. Those lentils must be extremely tasty after having absorbed all the free run juice from the birds.

  8. Such a wonderful way to serve chicken. I think spatchcock chicken is usually flattened, which is why yours took a little longer, but the flavours would be equally delicious no matter how you served it.

  9. I love everything about this dish Barbara. Will have to get my hubby to look at this recipe. He will be in charge of cooking for the next week or so. More about that later.

  10. Hi Barbara, what a wonderful meal you put together here, we have not had game hens in ages, looks divine.....

  11. it's like an umami bomb exploded! what a satisfying meal. :)

  12. Port is a beautiful wine and I am sure its aroma and flavor made this dish very unique!

  13. Such a fabulous dish!





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