Grilling Cornish Hens

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Searching for creative chicken recipes to prepare on the grill? It's time to think outside the ordinary. Grilled Cornish hens can elevate a quick and simple meal into something elegant and impressive. The trick is cutting them in half and cooking them over direct heat.

Grilling Cornish Hens
These miniature chickens weigh in at less than 2-1/2 pounds each.

To grill Cornish hens:
  1. Remove the giblets from the cavities of the hens; reserve them for another use.

  2. Place the hens on a cutting board and split each one in half with a sharp knife or poultry shears, cutting through the breast bone and back bone.

    Splitting the Cornish hens helps them cook faster and more evenly.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Splitting the Cornish hens helps them
    cook faster and more evenly.

  3. Rinse the halves with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. If your recipe calls for marinating, place the hens in a resealable plastic food storage bag, pour on the marinade, and refrigerate until it's time to grill.

  4. Prepare the grill for direct heating.

  5. When it is ready, drain the hens, if marinated, and discard the marinade.

  6. Place the pieces, skin-side up, on the preheated grid. Brush with oil.

  7. Grill the hens, on a covered grill, over medium-hot coals 35 to 40 minutes or until thighs move easily and juices run clear.

    When grilling Cornish hens, brush Cornish hens with a glaze for a beautiful finish.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Brush Cornish hens with
    a glaze for a beautiful finish.

Cornish hens aren't the only snazzy poultry to light up the grill. We'll teach you how to grill turkey in the next section.

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