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Herbed Hickory-Smoked Cornish Hens

No recipe image available.Hickory chips are widely used to add flavor to grilled turkey or ham, here it is used with Cornish hens.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups hickory chips

Cornish Hens:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 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

Cooking Directions:

  1. Cover hickory chips with water in medium bowl; soak 30 minutes.
  2. Heat one side of gas grill to medium or charcoal grill until coals are ash white. Place coals to one side in charcoal grill. Make aluminum foil drip pan; place opposite hot coals. Cover hot coals with hickory chips.
  3. Stir together butter, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons sage and sherry in small bowl; set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Place game hens on grill over drip pan. Baste with butter mixture. Grill for 40 minutes; turn. Baste with butter mixture. Continue grilling until no longer pink, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

*Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.

**Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves.