Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil and set aside.
For the blackening spice: In a bowl stir together the dark chili powder, garlic
powder, onion powder
, red pepper flakes
, paprika, salt, celery powder, dried parsley, dried thyme and cayenne pepper. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2/3 cup.
For the lemon pepper seasoning: In a bowl, stir together the pepper, dried lemon peel
, dried minced onion, dried thyme, coriander seeds and sugar
if using. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1 1/4 cups.
For the game hens: Sprinkle one of the game hens all over with 2 tablespoons blackening spice. Sprinkle another game hen all over with 2 tablespoons lemon
pepper seasoning. Sprinkle the third all over with the rosemary and thyme, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Place the game hens, breast-side up, in the pan; twist the wing tips under the backs.
, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh of each hen
registers 180 degrees F, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.