You’ve probably seen them in the freezer section of the meat department at the grocery store. Tiny chicken-looking birds called Cornish game hens. If you’ve never tried them, you should. Roasted chicken has been my go-to dish for Sunday dinner or other special occasions, and serving these birds makes it even more special. They are easy to make and are juicy and full of flavor. I like to keep it simple by roasting them with lemon, garlic and sage for seasoning. I place lemon wedges and quartered yellow onions inside the hens for added flavor and keep them moist. It’s nice to have variety in what you make and serve, and this is a delicious way to do that.

Belle’s Roasted Cornish Game Hens

2 Cornish game hens

2 tablespoons butter, melted

½ teaspoon ground sage

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 lemon wedges

6 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths, divided

1 onion quartered

In a small bowl, mix the butter, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently lift the skin from breast meat and place about a teaspoon of the mixture under the skin. Place a lemon wedge and an onion quarter into the cavity of the bird. Tuck the wings under and tie the legs together with cooking twine. Place the birds in a greased baking or roasting pan. Brush the birds with half of the butter mixture. Place the remaining lemon wedges, the white part of the green onions, and the onion quarters around the birds. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Add remaining green onions to the pan. Brush hens with the remaining butter mixture. Bake another 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 180 degrees. Remove birds to a serving platter or cut each bird in half lengthwise with shears to serve smaller portions.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.brendastanleybooks.com.