South of the Grill Cornish Hens

Posted by francis keyser Monday, June 6, 2011
Taste Level: TF
Cost: $20 and over
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 12 hours.
Cook Time: 15-20 min.
Difficulty: 2

This Cornish hen recipe also works great for one large turkey, as a matter of fact that is exactly what I originally made the recipe for.  I cooked up a big ol' turkey on the grill for thanksgiving and while eating it thought man this recipe would work great for Conrnish Hens!  So I decided for easter I would try it out with Cornish Hens and sure enough it worked great.  For flavor I think the Turkey was a little more tasty but the Cornish Hens took about 2 hours less to cook through!  So that is worth the small hit in flavor in my book! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Hens
4 1 1/2 lbs Cornish hens (cut in half length wise)

Brine
2/3 cup light brown sugar
6 large cloves garlic (crushed)
3 cinnamon sticks
6 coronas
1 cup kosher salt (3/4 cup if you use store bought essence)
1/4 cup Francis' essence
3 1/2 limes freshly squeezed juice
2 green onions (chopped)
6 jalapenos (chopped)
hickory chips

Rub
1 limes juice and pulp
2 tbsp essence
2 drips liquid smoke
2 tbsp black truffle oil
2 tbsp honey
red pepper flakes

Brine
Mix brine ingredients in a large stock pot and then add Cornish hen halves. If the mixture does not fully cover hens add just enough water so that they can be fully submerged. Cover and let chill 12 hours

Rub
Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl and sit to side until ready to use.

Cornish Hens
Remove hens from brine and place on a plate or pan.  Rub hens with rub mixture and let sit until room temperature.

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Strain brine into an aluminium drip pain until pan is about 1 inch full.  Add pan to lower grill rack and let heat for 7-10 minutes.  Place hen halves above drip pan and cook for 7 minutes cut side down, turn hens and continue to cook breast side down for 7 minutes.  Remove pan with brine and drippings from the grill (if you want this can be used to make some great gravy!) Place hens cut side up on lower grill rack and cook for 3-4 minutes or until hens are cooked through.

Remove hens from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot with or without gravy made from drippings, enjoy!

(For Gravy: Saute one half of strained green onions, garlic and jalapenos from brine for 7 minutes.  Add drippings from hen and then cook down over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes or until gravy has thickened.)

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