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Herbed Hickory-Smoked Cornish Hens

Herbed Hickory-Smoked Cornish Hens

Hickory chips add a great smokey flavor to these grilled cornish hens.

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30 min
Prep Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time


Hickory Chips

2 1/2 cups hickory chips

Cornish Hens

3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary  

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves  

1 tablespoon dry sherry, if desired

4 Cornish game hens, thawed, giblets removed

2 cloves garlic, cut in half

16 whole sage leaves


 *Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary. **Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves.

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Cover hickory chips with water in bowl; soak 30 minutes.

  2. STEP 2

    Heat 1 side of gas grill to medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white. Place coals to 1 side in charcoal grill. Make aluminum foil drip pan; place opposite heat. Cover heated side of gas grill or hot coals with hickory chips.

  3. STEP 3

    Combine butter, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons sage and sherry in bowl; set aside.

  4. STEP 4

    Rub skin of game hens with cut garlic. Gently loosen skin over breast of each game hen; place sage leaves under skin. Tie legs together.

  5. STEP 5

    Place game hens onto grill over drip pan. Baste with butter mixture. Grill 40 minutes; turn. Baste with butter mixture. Continue grilling 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 165°F and juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Nutrition (1 serving)

380 Calories
17 Fat (g)
255 Cholesterol (mg)
200 Sodium (mg)
1 Carbohydrates (g)
0 Dietary Fiber
51 Protein (g)
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