Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hens

Sorry for the delay in getting this up, my computer was being fickle and totally spatchcock blocked me.  

As I said in my previous post, if you don't have a rotisserie, spatchcocking is another great way to prepare your Cornish game hens on the grill.  It's actually a great way of grilling any bird (except maybe a turkey), and it really looks impressive when presented to your guests.

For the spatchcocked hens, I'll be using the same Fresh Tuscan Wet Rub that I used before on the rotisserie hens.

To spatchcock a bird, rinse and dry your bird and move it to a cutting board.  Remove the spine using a pair of kitchen shears. 

Flatten the bird out by cutting or removing the breastbone. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of this step, but refer to my How to Cut Up a Chicken post if you need a visual aid.

Next, using a small paring knife, make a small incision between the breast and the thigh, right next to the tip of the drumstick.

Slide the tip of the drumstick through the hole and repeat on the other side.

That’s it.  You’ve now successfully spatchcocked a Cornish game hen.

Place the hens in a zip-top bag with the wet rub and let it marinade for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

When they are done marinating, preheat your grill to medium. 

Place the birds on the cleaned and oiled grill, skin-side down.  Grill them for about 6 minutes, making sure you don’t burn the skin.

Once the skin is nice and golden brown, turn the birds and continue to cook them skin-side up until the breast meat has cooked through to 165 degrees.  This could take anywhere from another 6 to 12 minutes. 

It was about 25 degrees outside, so these took 12 minutes to finish after the turn.

Let the birds rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

To make the cinnamon sugar sweet potatoes, follow the instructions on my sweet potato post.  The only thing you need to do differently is brush the potatoes with canola oil and then sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar mixture before grilling.  Make sure the potatoes get a nice char before you take them off the grill.


  1. "spatchcock blocked me". Classic!

  2. THis is a great technique!! Very versitle with just about any bird. There is an old italtian version very similar that grills a whole chicken this way with preheated bricks on top. This makes it cook faster and helps crisp the skin!!

    1. Thanks Brad! I've used the hot brick before with a full-size chicken, but only in a cast iron skillet. I don't see why it wouldn't work on the grill.