Twin Eagles Partner Chef Jamie Gwen’s Grilled Cornish Hens
Twin Eagles Partner Chef Jamie Gwen’s grilled cornish game hens make any occasion special. If you’re feeding a small family for Thanksgiving, game hens are a wonderful substitute for a large turkey, and the flavors of cherry and vanilla compliment the poultry beautifully. Read on to get the recipe, and happy Thanksgiving grilling!
For the Hens:
4 Cornish Game Hens
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt & freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Port Wine
1/3 cup dried cherries
2 teaspoons Vanilla Paste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Preheat your Twin Eagles grill using a 2-Zone method for indirect heat grilling. Rinse the hens with cold water and pat dry. Place the game hens, breast side up, on a baking sheet and season them liberally with salt and pepper all over.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, brown sugar, fresh thyme and coriander. Season the butter mixture with salt and pepper. Rub the exterior of each hen with the butter mixture.
Place the hens on the grill and grill over indirect heat with the lid closed for 45 minutes to an hour or until an internal thermometer registers 180° when not touching the bone. Baste the hens with the pan drippings twice during the cooking process. Transfer the hens to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
To prepare the sauce, pour the pan juices from the baking sheet into a measuring cup. Let the juices rest for 5 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top. Spoon the fat from the top of the pan juices and discard.
Pour the chicken broth into a small sauce pot and add the reserved pan drippings. Place the pot directly on your grill or on a burner alongside. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the Port. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the cherries, vanilla paste and the 2 sprigs of thyme and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the grill and add the butter, whisking to combine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the hens with the sauce, garnished with the fresh thyme leaves.