I’ll be the first to admit that things look a little different this holiday season. While I’m still cooking up a storm, I’m cooking for fewer people. With my older son and my mom falling in the at-risk category, our typical family gathering are much smaller. With this in mind, my goal has been to create fabulous meals but on a smaller scale. For this year at least, I don’t need 10+ pounds of meat or 14 sides. However, I do want dishes that still deliver those holiday flavors that I adore but in a serving size that works well for our scaled back celebrations. With this in mind, I’ve rediscovered my love of Cornish Hens. These tins tender little birds are the perfect size for holiday celebrations and they still look super impressive when cooked correctly. It’s what we had for Thanksgiving and what we’ll have for Christmas because, when prepared correctly, it’s a holiday dish that can’t be beat. That’s why I’m so excited to share how to perfectly grill Cornish Hens each and every time you cook them.
There are so many ways to prepare Cornish Hens – you can baste them, roast them or air fry them – but my absolute favorite way to prepare this delicious dish is to grill Cornish Hens. It’s easy enough to do, doesn’t take much time and the tenderness of the meat just can’t be beat. But how do I ensure that every time i grill Cornish Hens they turn out amazing? It’s actually quite simple!
- 2 Cornish Hens
- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- Kitchen Scissors
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- Using the kitchen scissors, remove the skin from the Cornish Hens and spatchcock them by cutting out the backbone and spreading the hen open.
- Once the Cornish Hens are prepared, pat any excess moisture off of them with a paper towel.
- Coat the Cornish Hens in avocado oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Rub the minced garlic into the hens.
- Transfer the Cornish Hens to the heated grill and cook for 12-13 minutes per side, flipping half way through until they reach an internal temperature of about 155 degrees.
- Remove the Cornish Hens from the heat and allow them to rest (they will continue cooking as they rest and reach and internat temperature of 160-165).
- Once the Cornish Hens are cooked, serve them on a bed of greens, either whole or sliced in half for individual servings.
The secret to perfectly grill Cornish Hens comes down to three things: remove the skin, spatchcock the hen and use simple seasonings. To start, I removed the skin from my Cornish Hens. While you can grill them with the skin on, I like having the seasoning directly on the meat instead of pulling it off when I remove the skins.
Once the skin was removed from my Cornish Hens, I simply spatchcocked them by cutting out the backbone using kitchen scissors. Simple cut along the sides of the backbone to remove it and then spread the Cornish Hens out flat.
My Cornish Hens were now ready for seasoning. I think simple is best so after drying the hens off with a paper towel (don’t skip this step!), we coated them in avocado oil, added salt and pepper to taste and then seasoned them with minced garlic.
Once the Cornish Hens were seasoned perfectly, we transferred them to the heated grill and grilled them on each side for 12-13 minutes, until they reached an interior temperature of about 155 degrees.
Then we removed them from the heat and allowed the Cornish Hens to rest for about 10 minutes. This allowed them to continue cooking to the correct internal temperature of 160-165 while keeping them from overcooking and getting dry. Once I was sure that the internal temperature was correct, I served them up on a bed of greens.
Seriously, this way to grill Cornish Hens delivers juicy, tender meat that looks amazing and tastes even better.
Whether your holiday celebrations call for a smaller dish or you just want something different, try my method of how to perfectly grill Cornish Hens and I guarantee you’ll be delighted with the final result!