Spicy Spatchcocked Hens

By Gail Gordon Oliver

ET32 Gails GrilledHen 1

I love Cornish hens for their versatility and quick cooking time. The recipe for this scrumptious dish will take you all of about 45 minutes from start to finish. It's a bit difficult to determine how to portion Cornish hens; some people like to serve one whole hen per person, while others figure on one-half each.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 Cornish hens (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp each ground cumin, garlic powder, ground turmeric
1/4 tsp each ground cayenne, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground ginger, dried oregano, freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a gas grill on medium. In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, cumin, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, oregano and pepper; set aside. Place a hen breast-side down on a cutting board. Trim away any excess skin and fat. Using a sharp chef's knife or kitchen shears, cut out the backbone. Turn the hen over and press down hard on the centre of the breast to flatten it. Repeat with the other hen. Season all of the skin on both hens evenly with the spice rub.

Oil the grill. Place the spatchcocked hens skin-side down onto the grill. Cook over direct heat, with the lid down, for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature to medium-low. Turn the hens over and cook, with the lid down, for 15 minutes. Turn the hens skin-side down and cook until they are no longer pink inside and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.