Herbed Hickory-Smoked Cornish Hens
Hickory chips are widely used to add flavor to grilled turkey or ham, here it is used with Cornish hens.
2 1/2 cups hickory chips
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
- Cover hickory chips with water in medium bowl; soak 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Stir together butter, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons sage and sherry in small 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 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.