Roasted Garlic Pressed Game Hen


I learned this cooking technique from watching Alton Brown on one of his Food Network segments.  It’s a great and fast way to cook that yields excellent results.  On the downside, the preparation of the dish requires a panini-press or equivalent, and something heavy, say close to fifteen pounds, to keep the panini-press closed tight.

Roasted Garlic Paste

Peel of all the extra skin.  Chop of the top of the garlic to expose the cloves.  Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the cloves and then wrap in aluminum foil.  Place it on a baking pan and into a preheated 375 degree oven for thiry-five minutes.  Once the garlic is cool, squeeze out each clove from the bottom into a small bowl.  Start mashing up the cloves, I find the bottom of the spoon quite handy for this task.  There might be some hardened burnt layers of garlic, just remove them and eat them if you want.  Add about 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix with your fingers until a paste forms.  If it is too thick, just add more olive oil.  The paste needs to be vicous enough to be applied with a brush.  Set aside.

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Roasted Garlic Pressed Game Hen

First, you will need to butterfly (spatchcock) the game hen.  Here are excellent instructions on how to do that.  Sprinkle liberal amounts of salt, pepper, and garlic powder onto both sides of the bird. Apply cooking spray to the panini press cooking plates.  Set the bird onto the panini-press that’s set on high heat.  Close the panini press and press down to flatten the hen.  Set a heavy, non-flammable object on top of the panini press to keep the pressure on for the duration of the cooking process.  I used a cast-iron grill plate.  Be careful not to hurt yourself!  Cook the chicken on high heat for about 5-6 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium.   Cook for another 6-7 minutes.  Brush the hen with the roasted garlic paste and serve with lemon wedges.

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