Spatchcock Grilled Cornish Game Hen with Ramp Hash and Latkes

Whether you're of the babies, pups, or plant variety I hope all you mama's out there had a lovely Mother's Day! 

This is the feast that Robert prepared for his parents on Sunday evening. We love to take advantage of their outdoor grill, and decided to spatchcock some cornish game hens for everyone. I tied in the bright flavor of Meyer lemon that he finished the hens with into my dessert, a soft and airy blueberry cake with roasted Meyer lemon buttercream.

Ramps have been abundant this spring season, hardly their evasive self this time around. The ones we picked up for this meal were PERFECT! We were giddy to see them so fresh and so crisp, and it made for an unbelievably delicious hash that we paired with potato lakes. We picked this particular rosé to pair with the meal because of its notes of blood orange. The flavor married beautifully with the vegetable has and sweetness of the grilled hens.  

Spatchcock Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Ramp Hash and Potato Latkes

2 cornish game hens
1lb. baking potatoes, cleaned
1 egg, whisked
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 cup fresh peas
1 small bunch ramps, cleaned and greens separated from stalks
1 Meyer lemon, halved
1 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil + additional for serving
salt and pepper

  • Clean cornish hens and pat dry. To spatchcock, place bird on cutting board breast side down and using a pair of poultry scissors or very sharp chefs knife, cut out backbone of each hen, taking care to remove any excess cartilage and bone fragments. Flip the bird so that breasts are facing up and gingerly press down on middle of hen with the heel of your hand, to flatten. 
  • Season hens generously with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, using a gas or charcoal grill heat one side on very high heat and the other on low, creating an indirect heat. 
  • When grill is hot, place hens breast side up on the side of grill with a lower flame and cook 10 minutes, covered. Flip birds and cook breast side down for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads at least 155° when inserted into the thickest portion of the hen. Remove from grill and rest 10 minutes. 
  • Using a box grater or the grating attachment on a food processor, grate potatoes. Transfer to a colander set over the sink and squeeze potato mixture vigorously. Continue squeezing until most of moisture has been expelled from potatoes. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add in egg. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm 2 tbs olive oil until shimmering. Divide potato mixture in half and carefully ball up potato into a large latke. Gently place in skillet and flatten with spatula. Let stand until a golden brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Working with a large spatula, carefully flip latke and continue cooking an additional 5-8 minutes until opposite side is golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat process on second potato pancake. When both have been cooked, transfer baking sheet to warm oven until ready to serve. 
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tbs butter. When butter is melted, add asparagus and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ramp stalks and greens and continue to sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes until greens are wilted. Add peas and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper and keep warm. 
  • To serve, place latke on plate, add vegetable hash and top with grilled hen. Season hen with a squeeze of Meyer lemon and small drizzle of olive oil.