The first time I made Rock Cornish Game hens was just after getting married. We purchased a Webber Smokey Joe and wanted to try it out. I followed the recipe in the barbecue cookbook that came with it and had the juiciest, most tender cornish hens I had ever tasted. Since then, I have brined the birds, sprinkled various seasonings on the skin, basted with barbecue sauce, and a thousand other things. But the basic cooking technique is the same. And it is so easy.
Pour fresh charcoal into the grill to make a solid bed of coals. Seperate the charcoal into two banks on either side of the grill, leaving about four inches between. Douse with lighter fluid and allow to get hot for about twenty minutes.
Preapared the game hens by warming to room temperature (this can be done quickly by imersing them into 110' water). Pat dry and brush the entire bird with butter, or olive oil. Season with granulated garlic, onion, and your favorite spices.
Place a drip pan between the banks of charcoal (I make mine with heavy-duty aluminum foil), and put the birds over the drip pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest flesh, taking care to avoid touching the bone and cook to a temperature of 165' F.
Spices& herbs that are great for this dish include oregano, sage, basil, lemon pepper, garlic, onion, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, brown-sugar and pineapple, citrus juices (orange, lemmon, lime, etc), tarragon, cilantro, curry, well, you get the picture. A wild and brown rice dressing with chopped water chestnuts, onion, and celery is great with this bird. Just cook the rice in chicken broth, add a bit of thyme or sage if you want, or just salt and pepper.
The birds come out so juicy, there are no dripping from which to make gravy, until you cut into them that is. Then, It gushes out onto the serving platter. Oh, my mouth is watering already, and I'm not even making this dish anytime soon. I know what I want my birthday meal to be.
Oh, and now I do the same thing with the full-sized Webber Covered Kettle Barbecue Grill.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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