Monday, March 30, 2009

Grilled Basil-Lemon Cornish Game Hens

Okay, the weather was great this past weekend so I needed to bust out the grill for the first time this year. And what is a better Spring-y thing to make than Cornish Game Hens? I made them with Grilled Summer Squash and Crushed Potatoes with Olive Oil, Parmesan and Basil and it was an amazing dinner. Well amazing even though the hens turned out kind of raw because I have no idea how to grill... but baby steps! Thank the heavens for microwaves! But really, this recipe is great and super impressive. If you are interested in grilling Cornish Game Hens, I strongly suggest you give them a try. And make sure you do the Myer Lemon Salsa if if Myer Lemons are in seasons because they are neat to work with.

Grilled Basil-Lemon Cornish Game Hens
Makes 8 servings

1 cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup grated lemon zest
¼ cup basil
¼ cup chopped mint
2 tbsp minced red jalapeno

8 Cornish game hens, halved
2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup Meyer Lemon Salsa (below)

Combine the lemon juice, oil, lemon zest, basil, mint and jalapeno to make a marinade. Place the game hens in a large, shallow pan. Pour the marinade over the top, and turn the hens to coat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high; leave one burner off. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed on one side of the grill. Clean the cooking grate.

Remove the game hens from the marinade and brush off any excess marinade. Season with the salt and pepper.

Grill the game hens over direct heat until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Move the hens to indirect heat and continue to grill, covered and turning as needed, until cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes more.

Serve the game hens on a heated platter or plates with the salsa on top.

Meyer Lemon Salsa
Makes 2 cups

1 Meyer lemon
1 cup minced shallots
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Meyer lemon juice, optional

Cut the whole lemon, unpeeled, into crosswise slices about 1/8 inch thick. Remove the seeds and cut the slices into 1/8-inch dice. Place the diced lemon in a mixing bowl.

Add the shallots and salt to the lemons, and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add the parsley, and gradually whisk in the oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add additional lemon juice if desired.


Pia said...

You are too funny.
Grilling will come naturally.

Rosemary and The Goat said...

I love cornish hens and I will be trying this very soon. I am new to the food blogging sites and just started my 3 days ago. I have been catering for 20 years and hope to share a lot of my experiences. -- Sherry

Susan said...

Made this for 50 of our closest friends while camping. Grilled directly on a charcoal pit. The meyer lemon salsa was fantastic!

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

YUMMY, thanks for sharing all the very best.

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