Chili-rubbed Game Hens with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

For many years, I have dreamed of travelling to Mexico.  Not to the beach resorts, but to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende to take in the culture, the art and the stunning architecture. A special birthday was recently celebrated in this magnificent country.  The people were welcoming, the cuisine truly delicious and the art and architecture, spectacular.

I created an oven baked sheet pan dinner with some Mexican flavors that could make a wonderfull Cinco de Mayo dinner.  Game hens were roasted over a bed of scallions with sweet potato rounds and served with a zesty chimichurri sauce.  Can’t say it is authentic Mexican food but it was a delicious tribute to this country we fell in love with.  You could double the hens and veggies and have plenty of chimichurri for 4.

More Mexican inspired recipes can be found here.

Chili-rubbed Game Hens with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each
    salt, pepper, chili powder, ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced horizontally in 1 inch thick rounds
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
    Pat the hens dry. Sprinkle the inside cavity generously with salt and pepper.
    On a shallow baking sheet just large enough to accomodate the hens and the veggies, spread the scallions. Place the hens on top of the scallions.  Rub with the chili powder and sprinkle with cumin.
    Toss the sweet potato rounds with the olive oil. Spread around both hens evenly. Roast in the lower part of the oven for 45 minutes, flipping  the sweet potatoes over once. Remove the hens from the sheet pan to a serving platter and serve with the vegetables and chimichurri sauce.


  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

In a blender, place all ingredients and purée to a sauce consistency. Can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.  Serve alongside the Cornish game hens.


14 thoughts on “Chili-rubbed Game Hens with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

  1. Very creative and sounds delicious Johanne! My son got married in San Miguel de Allende, and I fell in love with those doorways!! A fascinating city with lots of art eye candy for sure!

    • I hope we both will get to travel to San Miguel again Jenna. It truly is a fascinating little gem of a city. How absolutely magical and romantic to get married there!

      Johanne Lamarche


  2. I have traveled many times to Mexico City to take on the culture and art but most particularly THE FOOD AND DRINK!!!! I agree with you that the country is a true gem. So much to see and do and learn…it’s amazing! Hooray for you for wanting to revive a little taste of such a beautiful place!

    • I am in shock Miss A! I thought you didn’t fly!!! What took you to Mx City? I just loved it! We even got to eat at Pujol which is featured in Season 2 Episode 4 of Netflix’s Chef series…..and unknowingly ate crushed ants!!!!! Will NOT be trying to recreate that one at home!

      Johanne Lamarche


  3. I love the photos from your trip, such wonderful colours and designs. And I love sweet potatoes with chimichurri, I think the sharpness of the chimichurri is perfect with the sweetness of the potatoes 🙂

    • You were ahead of me Elaine-this was my first time pairing sweet potatoes and chimichurri and we loved it. Winning combination of flavors for sure. I usuallly sprinkle them with cumin and a squeeze of lime juice so this was a natural evolution. This trip was incredible. I didn’t want to write an elaborate story on the trip in a recipe post, but it certainly deserved a travel feature! Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

      Johanne Lamarche


  4. I liked the photos. Would think that the last block was at Frieda’s house.

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Pingback: Chilli-rubbed chicken with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri | Safari of the Mind

    • What a wonderful surprise Loretta, to find my recipe and bllog referenced in your lovely adaptation of the game hens! Wasn’t that chimichurri a fabulous contrast to the sweet potatoes? Thank you for your kind words on the blog and my artwork, which is keeping me from blogging more often these days!!! Have a terrific weekend! Xox

      Johanne Lamarche


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