Hickory chips add a great smokey flavor to these grilled cornish hens.
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2 1/2 cups hickory chips
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.
Cover hickory chips with water in bowl; soak 30 minutes.
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.
Combine butter, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons sage and sherry in bowl; set aside.
Rub skin of game hens with cut garlic. Gently loosen skin over breast of each game hen; place 4 sage leaves under skin. Tie legs together.
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.