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Lunchbreak: Spiaggia chef Tony Mantuano makes roasted spatchcocked game hens with grappa

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Chef Tony Mantuano

980 N. Michigan Avenue
(312) 280-2750

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Roasted Spatchcocked Game Hens with Grappa

2 game Hens, spatchcocked*
1 bulb garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grappa
2 long sprigs fresh rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
2 bricks wrapped in foil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready two cast iron pans each large enough to hold one butterflied bird, 1/2 garlic bulb and 1/2 lemon. Heat each pan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pour the grappa over the birds and rub it in on both sides. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place one bird in each pan, skin side down. Place one rosemary sprig on top of each bird.  Place a garlic bulb half and a lemon half in each pan next to the bird and drizzle with olive oil. Place a wrapped brick on top of each bird. Cook for 10 minutes on top of the stove. Carefully place the birds in the pre-heated oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thigh, about 20 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven. Transfer each bird, skin side up to individual plates and garnish each with a garlic bulb and lemon half. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

*Spatchcocking means to remove the backbone and flatten. This is done to cook the bird more evenly and quickly.