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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Smoked Cornish Game Hens

Why wouldn't you want to eat your own mini chicken?  Best method EVER for cooking Cornish game hens!
 
INGREDIENTS:
4 Cornish game hens (about 1.5-2 lbs each)
4 large cloves garlic
Rub:
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Baste (melt together in a pan):
2 tbsp butter (or wonderfully decadent bacon fat)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of mirin (or substitute white wine or vermouth)

STEPS:
1. Rinse game hens, remove giblets if necessary.
2. Lightly smash each clove of garlic and stuff into bird cavities, then truss each bird with string.  It's no big deal if you can't truss professionally, but at least tie the legs together if you can.
3. Season each bird with a sprinkle of dry rub - mostly on the outside, but also put a dash in the cavity.
4. Set up your smoker with a small batch of coals - the fat from the bird's skin will likely drip, causing flare-ups and heat raises.  Adjust vents to obtain a temp of about 275 degrees F.
5. Get birds on grill.
6. After an hour, check to see if underside is browned.  If so, flip and baste browned side only.
7. Check after another hour.  If other side is browned, flip and baste.  Add more coals if heat is dying.
8. After another hour, check internal temp at leg or thigh.  If 180 degrees F, you're ready to rock.  If not, check every half hour.
9. Remove garlic from cavities, chop up and sprinkle over birds as a garnish.  Fresh oregano would work nicely too.

Game hens, like most poultry, would also make excellent candidates for brining.  Check out this pork shoulder recipe to learn more about brining.

1 comment:

vincent said...

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