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Brick-Grilled Cornish Hens

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Other time 1 hr, 8 mins
Yield Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 (1 1/2- to 1 3/4-lb.) Cornish hens
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 aluminum foil-wrapped bricks*
  • Garnishes: lemon wedges, flatleaf parsley sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Cut Cornish hens lengthwise through the backbone using kitchen shears, and flatten.

  2. Combine salt and next 4 ingredients; rub evenly over hens. Place hens in 2-qt. zip-top freezer bags or 2 large baking dishes. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil; drizzle lemon juice mixture over hens. Seal or cover, and chill 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Remove hens from marinade, discarding marinade.

  3. Place hens on cooking grate of grill, and top each with an aluminum foil-wrapped brick. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300° to 350°) 18 to 20 minutes on each side, replacing bricks on hens after flipping. Turn grill off, and let stand, covered with grill lid, 5 to 8 minutes or until done. (If using a charcoal grill, transfer hens to a 350° oven, and bake 5 to 8 minutes or until done.) Garnish, if desired.

  4. *Cast-iron skillets may be substituted for foil-wrapped bricks. Place a sheet of foil between each skillet and hen.