This Szechuan Cornish Hens recipe and shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JuicyGrilledCornish #CollectiveBias
Sometimes, stepping out of a comfort zone is just what a girl needs.
I am going to admit that my cooking skills are right between beginner and intermediate. I have never cooked a whole chicken. No roasting, no baking, and not even slow cooking one.
I am also going to admit that I have NEVER tried a cornish hen before. I've spied them at Wal-Mart in the freezer section more than once and I finally took a leap and purchased the double pack of Tyson® Cornish Hens (all natural! No hormones, steroids or artificial ingredients)
Upon researching, I learned that they are not game nor are they really just hens (females). They can be either male or female and they are a special breed of chicken. I read several recommendations to brine poultry prior to baking/roasting/grilling and opted to make a szechuan marinade with Kikkoman® Less Sodium Soy Sauce (my absolutely favorite soy sauce). Soy Sauce makes for a great brine to insure a juicy bird!
I mixed szechuan pepper, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, dry sherry, ginger, brown sugar, honey, garlic and sesame oil. I reserved two tbsp of the marinade to save for later. I put the cornish hens in a large container, poured the marinade over it and I let them marinate for a day.
Then it was SHOW TIME.
It's insanely hot here and with record breaking heat, there was no way I was going to put on the oven. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
INSTEAD I put these outside on the grill. Yes! You can grill a cornish hen! There are many ways you can- spatchcocking, rotisserie, etc but I wanted them lightly golden and smoky vs crispy, so I set the grill to medium and used the rotisserie spit.
With the reserved marinade, I boiled it on the stove with a cornstarch/water slurry until thickened and drizzled over the hens on each plate.
Garnished with sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
Served with jasmine rice.
The meat was so juice. The skin full of flavor. Outstanding. Just outstanding.
I will definitely keep making Tyson Cornish Hens in the future. I think they would make an AWESOME teriyaki!
Szechuan Cornish Hens
2 tbsp ground Szechuan pepper
1/2 cup less sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or Chinese black pepper would be better)
1 tbsp fresh, grated ginger (I use a refrigerated ginger paste)
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water slurry
1. Mix all ingredients from Szechuan pepper to sesame oil together. Reserve 2 tbsp for later
2. Place hens in a gallon storage bag or a large container
3. Pour marinade over hens. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat your grill over medium.
5. Place hens on the rotisserie spit.
6. Place drip pans under the hens (the juices are needed to keep basting the hens)
7. Get the spit turning, close the lid and allow the hens to cook. It will take about 35-45 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is. In the thickest part of the thigh, check for an internal temp of 170F. (Be very careful- the spit is extremely hot, so use oven mitts). Baste periodically with the juices (or even butter)
8. Heat reserved 2 tbsp of marinade and cornstarch slurry on stove in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer until desired thickness.
9. Drizzle over hens.
10. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
11. Serve with rice.
What is your favorite what to prepare birds?
If you are interested in recipes using Tyson Cornish Hens and Kikkoman sauce, be sure to check out the hub!