1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Rub hens inside and out with salt and pepper. Truss them,
if desired. (It helps hold their shape.) Place them breast
side down in a buttered, heat-proof baking dish and dot with
2 Tbsp. of butter. Scatter the gizzards and necks around
the hens. Reserve the livers. Add the onions and place dish
on a low flame on top the stove. This is done to expedite
the cooking time in the oven, and to get the baking dish
hot. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut them into half-inch
cubes. Drop them into cold water in a saucepan. Bring to
4. As the potatoes come to a boil, rinse the mushrooms and
pat dry. Cut them into quarters and set aside.
5. When the potatoes reach a boil, drain. Heat remaining
2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and add the potatoes. Cook, shaking
the skillet and tossing the potatoes so that they brown evenly,
about 5 minutes. When lightly brown, add the mushrooms, salt
and pepper to taste. Cook about 10 minutes. tossing and shaking
6. At this point the hens should have completed their first
20 minutes. Turn the hens on their backs. Sprinkle the livers
with salt and pepper and add them to the baking dish. Continue
baking about 10 minutes.
7. Scatter the potatoes and mushrooms around the hens and
continue cooking about 15 minutes., basting often. Remove
the hens. Lift them up and let the cavities drain before
they are removed. Add water and rosemary to the vegetables
in the pan. Bring to boil on top of stove, stirring. The
hens may be served whole or cut in half. Serve the mushrooms
and potatoes and the pan sauce with the hens.
Yield: 4 - 8 servings.