Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday Supper: Chicken instead of game hens

I just returned from a lovely holiday weekend (Utah’s Pioneer Day) in Helper, where I enjoyed two barbeque dinners, slightly cooler weather (95° instead of 100°), and some time with my wonderful fiancé.

On Saturday Charley and I prepared a recipe inspired by my addiction to the Today Show…I know it would come in handy some day. I few weeks ago they had a barbeque cook off and the winning recipe was grilled Cornish game hen. It looked so good, I had to try it. Here’s the clip:

The Walmart in Price did not have game hens (or onions for that matter) so we used bone in chicken piece and it worked out great. It was delicious! I would highly recommend this recipe any summer cookout.

Here’s the recipe:

Grilled BBQ Cornish game hens, California style

Chef: Jeff Henderson


  • 1 cup cilantro

  • 1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Juice from one lemon

  • 4 small Cornish game hens

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 1/3 cups ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup (packed) light dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1/2 cup of orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño pepper, one tablespoon of garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice (for the pesto rub). Stir well and set aside.
Place hens on a wire rack with a drip pan underneath. Rub hens thoroughly with pesto rub. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat your grill for 275 F.
In a large saucepan, add butter and stir until melted. Add onions, one tablespoon of garlic and sauté until tender. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, orange juice and liquid smoke. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once glaze has slightly thickened, remove from heat. Add apple cider vinegar and Tabasco sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove hens from the refrigerator. Place hens on grill skin side down. Cover grill and cook for 30-35 minutes. Turn the hens over and grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until hens are golden brown or test done about 175 F.
Using a sauce brush, start brushing the hens with barbecue glaze. Remove hens from grill and place on a serving platter. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

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