Cornish Game Hens in Herbs
Great as a quick meal (when a whole chicken takes too long) or that intiment evening (or both!), the Cornish Hen is a great little secret for those seeking a pleasant roasted dinner. This poor man's pheasant is delightful and fun to cook.
Start with four (4) Cornish Hens. Give them a bath and pat them down gently. Now combine the following ingredients in a plastic or teflon container. Remember that many marinades will react with aluminum or other metals.
3/4 cup extra virgin Oil
1/4 cup chardonnay or dry white wine
2 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 1/2 tsp thyme
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp fresh ground anise seed
Let those birds marinate a minimum of 3 hours. . . . over night if desired. When ready, start your grill or smoke-cooker. If you use the later, then you will have time for a refreshment.
While all of this is going on, take the hens out of the marinade and set them aside for the grill. Take the marinade and heat it to boiling for about 2 minutes (kills those pesky germs). After allowing it to cool, you will use it for basting.
When the fire is a consistent 225 to 235 degrees, it's finally time to go to work. Place the hens on the grill/smoker on the other end of the grill from fire. This will allow for indirect smoke-cooking for that "non-burned" effect. If gas grilling, use your smoker box with some apple, cabernet oak, or grapevine chips.
You are finished when the internal temperature (between the thigh and the breast) reaches 165 degrees. Use your meat thermometer to be sure to not over or under cook.