Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hens
|2 eaCornish Game Hens; thawed|
|1/2 cupSalt; non-ionized salt|
|1 tablespoonGarlic; minced|
|1 eaBay leaf|
|1 tablespoonPickling spice; available in most grocery stores|
|1 teaspoonPoultry seasoning|
|1/2 teaspoonBlack pepper; fresh cracked|
|2 tablespoonLemon juice|
|2 tablespoonCharlie Vargas Rendevous dry rub; see notes for substitution|
Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hens Preparation
Wash hens and set aside.
Brine The Birds (this step ensures a juicy bird, every time....don't skip it)
Make a brine by mixing the water, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaf, and pickling spice. Be sure that the sugar and salt are disolved. Place birds in the brine in a lidded tupperware container and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. (HINT: You can use the brining time to help thaw the birds)
Spatchcock The Birds
Take the birds out and discard the brine. Remove the spine by using kitchen shears to cut just to one side of the spine, starting at the chickens arse and repeat on the other side. Discard the spine. Break the birds breast by putting your thumbs on the breast bone (external side) and bending the bird backwards. The birds will now lay flat (butterflied).
Season The Birds
Season both sides of the birds with poultry seasoning and pepper.
Grill the Birds
Place the birds under a bright light and ask it was last Thursday night....oh wait. I mean, place the butterflied birds flat, boneside down, on a medium high grill. (If you like crispy skin spritz the outside with olive oil spray). Grill them until the backsides are crispy brown or carmelized (nice word for almost burnt in some spots). This should take about 30 minutes but I go by the color. Flip the birds and grill until the front sides are golden brown. Flip them back over and grill until the hens reach an internal temp of 165 degrees in the deep part of the thighs. (If you don't have an internal thermometer, it is when the leg and thigh give you a nice limp handshake or move easily.)
Season the Birds....Again
Baste both sides of the bird with lemon juice and then season with the Rendevous dry rub (you can order it online, but in a pinch you could use Emerils Essence or any poultry dry rub). Remove from grill and let the birds rest for 5 minutes. Cut each bird in half at the breast bone (or what is left of it) and serve with rice pilaf.
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