Grilled Cornish Game Hens

A typical Cornish Game Hen is about 2 ½ pounds, so it is a good substitute for the pre-packaged grocery store selection and less intimidating or time consuming than a full-sized bird. These hens do well in the oven or on the grill, cooked whole or easily butchered. To prepare one Cornish Game Hen, cut away the spine with scissors and split the breast, removing the breastbone. Leave it butterflied or cut it in half. Once prepared, they work great on the grill and are a perfect addition to a summer barbecue. Brining helps to keep the meat moist, but these delicate birds don’t need a barbecue sauce.

By / Photography By Amy Nawrocki and Eric D. Lehman | July 10, 2017

Preparation

Combine ingredients in a large pot. Mix well to dissolve salt and sugar. Cool to room temperature. Immerse split hens in cooled brine, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours. Combine basting mixture ingredients and set aside.

Prepare grill and bring heat up to medium (350°). Brush grates with oil so birds don’t stick. Cook hens skin-side up for 25 minutes, basting once. Flip and cook for an additional 15 minutes, basting again before finished. Delicious when served with potato salad or roasted Brussels sprouts.

Related Stories & Recipes

How Connecticut Raised the Modern Chicken

In the early 20th century, the poultry industry in Connecticut was thriving. You could not drive into the country without encountering the long rows of coops that signaled a chicken farm. Still rememb...

Ingredients

Basting Mixture
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Brine
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium soy (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Four dried chilis (optional)
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60