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Old 08-02-2008, 10:15 PM   #1
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Cornish game hen, need help splitting for grill

I normally used to just spear them with a spit rod and rotisserie them.
I don't have that capability, so I now grill with the Cobb grill.

There's a site (listed below) that explains how to lay them out flat.
I just can't quite picture what the instructions tell me.
Anyways, check this URL and maybe clarify how to cut out the spine.
Is the second sentence telling me that's the procedure? Is that
part clarifying the first sentence? Can you explain it better than they do?
I don't want to end up with shredded game hen before I even marinate it.



Grilling Guide - Perfect Cornish Game Hen

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Old 08-02-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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I'm sorry, I can't explain it, but if you bring them to me, I'll do it for you.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:30 PM   #3
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get a par of kitchen shears or a tough pair of scissors, put the chicken breast side down on a cutting board and just snip right through the skin and bone on either side of the spine, cutting from the tail hole up to the neck.
once you've removed the spine and can stretch it open a little, follow the instructions on how to split the breastbone. hth.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
I normally used to just spear them with a spit rod and rotisserie them.
I don't have that capability, so I now grill with the Cobb grill.

There's a site (listed below) that explains how to lay them out flat.
I just can't quite picture what the instructions tell me.
Anyways, check this URL and maybe clarify how to cut out the spine.
Is the second sentence telling me that's the procedure? Is that
part clarifying the first sentence? Can you explain it better than they do?
I don't want to end up with shredded game hen before I even marinate it.



Grilling Guide - Perfect Cornish Game Hen

It's really quite simple. I do it with game hens and with regular chicken. Just use your heavy kitchen shears to cut down both sides of the backbone close the vertebrae. Then just open it up. Nothing more really needs to be done. There is a technique for partially boning the fowl after opening it, but it's been so long since I bothered to do it that I'd have to review the technique before I tried to explain it. But just opening it out flat is pretty easy.

Ok, I looked it up and here is what I have in my recipe for Florentine marinated game hens:

"With a sharp knife or utility shears, cut along each side of backbone and remove and discard (or reserve to make a stock). Split bones through cartilage at neck end of breast and press flat. Remove breastbone and cartilage (rib bones can be removed after cooking if desired) and place hens in a glass dish large enough to cover them with marinade."

I don't usually take out the breastbone any more, but it worked pretty well and very easy the last time I tried it.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I'm sorry, I can't explain it, but if you bring them to me, I'll do it for you.
That's what ya call really witty inside help reply. NOT.

Thanks (most all of ya). I'll get a pair of poultry shears.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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Caslon - sometimes, depending on how you plan to grill them, it isn't even necessary to remove the backbone. I frequently just cut up both sides of the spine just enough to enable me to press down & flatten the bird. Can make a nicer presentation if you plan to serve a whole bird to each guest.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks Breezy. I'll attempt spine removal anyways.

If noone replied, I was gonna take a big meat cleaver and
hack the bird it two.

I read that works too, lol.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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I think you're referring to "Spatchcocking" which is removing the spine as opposed to "Butterflying" which removes the breastbone. I've been doing this for years because I like the way game birds and chickens lay flat on the grill. You could achieve the same thing by removing the breastbone if that's easier for you. They're going to lay flat no matter what. Here is what they look like when they're spatchcocked and BTW a good pair of poultry shears is your best friend. LOL.
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