Entrees

Deviled Game Hens

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(Pollo alla Diavola) This entrée, a specialty of Florence, can be found at restaurants throughout Tuscany. If you see alla diavola on an Italian menu, it means that dish will be slightly spicy. Chicken alla diavola is usually flattened, then blackened on a grill or under the broiler, but the same technique works well on the stove, too. This recipe uses game hens to stand in for the smaller chickens of Tuscany, and a heavy pot takes the place of the brick.
Ingredients:

  • 3 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound Cornish game hens, halved, giblets and backbones removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Pat hens dry with paper towels. Place on baking sheet. Mix oil, red pepper and rosemary in bowl. Rub all over hens. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Heat 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Sprinkle hens with salt. Add 3 hen halves, skin side down, to each skillet. Place 1 heavy large pot atop hens in each skillet. Place weights (such as several bricks or rocks) in each pot. Cook until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced, about 18 minutes per side.

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