Meat & Poultry/ Poultry, Game

Roast Game Hens with Mustard – Le Coquelet ‘A La Moutarde, Friday Dinner Idea!

This is not your everyday recipe cause it is reach and buttery. But when you have friends over or there is a family gathering, that is a perfect dish. I love to make something special for Friday dinner. It’s the end of the week, kids usually don’t have any homework and we can have a long dinner together. My husband always has a nice bottle of wine and we allow ourselves to have any dessert we like. The recipe is French, hence the secret is in the sauce. I highly recommend it, the sauce is wonderful!

It seems quite complicated, cause it involves a few steps, but in fact, it is not. While chicken is roasting in the oven you can prepare sauce and vegetables. The whole dish has taken me one hour to make. Have a pleasant weekend, dear readers!

White sauce

Roast Game Hens with Mustard

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  • For the roast game hens:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more if need it
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Rock Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 lb. each
  • 4 slices of bread, toasted, for serving
  • For the Béchamel - basic thick white sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk 
  • For the mustard sauce:
  • the yellow rind of 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup of cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp butter



Preheat oven to hot 400 F.


Combine to a smooth paste: butter, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Spread this paste over breast, legs, and wings of Cornish hens. Put the birds in a buttered roasting pan and roast in the hot oven for about hour, basting occasionally with juices in the pan.


When the birds are cooked, remove from oven, and cut each in half or quarters with poultry shears. Arrange pieces in a shallow pan and keep hot.


To make a sauce: Make the béchamel sauce - basic thick white sauce. Into container of an electric blender put softened butter, salt flour, white pepper, and milk. Cover the container and blend for about 30 seconds. Pour sauce into a double boiler and cook over simmering water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Mince the yellow lemon rind. Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the rind.


To liquid in a roasting pan add mustard and cook stirring in all the juices in the pan. Add béchamel sauce. Stir in cream and bring to the boil. Correct seasonings with salt, if necessary. Add the blanched lemon peel, a little freshly ground pepper, and butter.


Presentation: Place the Rock Cornish hens in the sauce, turn to coat and heat them, then transfer to the toasts on the serving platter. Strain the sauce over.

Roasted game hens
Roast game hens with mustard – Le Coquelet ‘A La Moutarde

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  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    January 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Absolutely mouthwatering! That exquisite mustard sauce must pair wonderfully well with the game hens.



  • Reply
    Eric Pepple
    January 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Wow these look spectacular and I love your photography. I have never made Cornish Hens before, but this definitely makes me want to try. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy Valley Chow

  • Reply
    January 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Thank you, Eric and welcome to my blog! I hope to see you soon-))

  • Reply
    January 12, 2013 at 6:54 am

    This definitely looks like a luxury dinner! I like home made béchamel sauce..

  • Reply
    Nicoletta Palmas
    January 13, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Yelena my mouth is watering looking at this photo!!!!!! Lush!!!!!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I love all of it, including Brussels sprouts! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    January 14, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I'm a big fan of Dijon mustard and I can imagine how juicy the meat is! Any dish that you make has some elegance. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to dishes using duck or other game birds. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . It would be great if you checked out some of the other links – there are a lot of good ones already. Cheers

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