Jerk Cornish Hens

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
2 hr 5 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile pepper, stemmed (remove seeds to tame heat)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Cornish game hens (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each), cut in half
  • Freshly ground pepper
Directions
  • Combine the scallions, bell pepper, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, thyme, allspice, ginger, brown sugar, chile pepper and 1 tablespoon salt in a food processor; pulse to make a thick sauce. Refrigerate 1/4 cup for serving.

  • Season the hens all over with salt and pepper; poke a few holes into the bone side. Rub 1 cup of the jerk sauce all over the hens in a large bowl or pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

  • Preheat a grill to medium; prepare for direct and indirect grilling: On a charcoal grill, bank the coals on one side. For a gas grill, turn off one of the burners after preheating. Remove the hens from the marinade, letting any excess drip off; place skin-side up on the cooler side of the grill (position the legs closer to the fire). Cover and cook until the hens are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

  • Baste the hens with any extra jerk sauce, then turn them over to the direct-heat side of the grill; cook, uncovered, until the skin is dark brown and the meat is cooked through but still moist, 5 to 10 more minutes. (A thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read 160 degrees.) Set the hens aside for 5 minutes, then serve with the reserved jerk sauce.

  • Photography by Con Poulos


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Great Grilled Chicken