Most of the time, my fiance and I agree on which recipes should go in the “keeper” file and which ones are better suited for the trash bin. This dish, however, garnered mixed reviews–Jason didn’t care for it at all, but I thought it would be a good standby (with a couple of tweaks).
The biggest change I would make? Swapping out the Cornish game hens for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The hens are visually beautiful, but they are damn hard to eat and yield relatively little meat (though their crispy skin was quite a treat). Also, I would try to get grapes that were already off the stems, and I would either lighty saute or pre-roast the shallots before adding them to the hen/grape pan in the oven, as they weren’t as soft and caramelized as I would have preferred.
I won’t rush to make this recipe again, since my hunny didn’t love it, but if you decide to give it a go, let me know how it turns out–and don’t be afraid of salt in this one, as the grapes and shallots are very sweet!
Preheat oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss grapes and shallots with thyme sprigs, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Tie legs with kitchen twine; nestle hens among grapes on baking sheet, breast side up. Season hens generously with salt and pepper; sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Roast, basting hens occasionally with pan juices, until an instant- read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of leg (avoiding bone) registers 160°, 30 to 35 minutes.