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Thai Barbecue Cornish Hens – Simply yet very flavorful combination of lemongrass, soy sauce, cilantro, coconut milk and more as a marinade for Cornish hens and grilled will tantalize your tastebuds and satisfy your hunger.Summer is winding down but it is not time to put the grill away. Due to all my summer travels, I have only been grilling for about a month now. So I really feel like I have a lot to make up for, plus, I’ve been known to grill in both the snow and the rain.
I’ve had my fair share of burgers lately, so I decided to mix things up a bit. I took two childhood favorites and mixed them together. My grandpa used to roast Cornish hens on his grill’s spit, that’s the word my grandparents use, it’s the rotisserie accessory. My grandma would season the tiny birds and he’d slow cook them on the grill. De-LISH-us.
That’s one childhood favorite. The other is a dish my Cambodian neighbors made simply called “Thai chicken.” It was chicken pieces that they marinated and then grilled.
When I was at Walmart, I saw a two-pack of Tyson® Cornish Hens and Kikkoman® Low-Sodium Soy Sauce already on my shopping list, I thought I should marry my two favorites of grilled Cornish hens and Thai chicken. Oh man, sometimes when genius hits, it hits with a brick. (Pun fully intended.)The flavor…the flavor was not blow your mind intense, but was subtle and tasted in each bite. The lemongrass gave it a fresh and light taste and the coconut milk and honey sweetened it a bit, and the onion and cilantro pushes it all over the delicious top. The Tyson® Cornish Hens were super juicy, partially due to the fabulous marinade because the Kikkoman® Low-Sodium Soy sauce acts as a brining agent, and partially because I did not over cook them.
I love this recipe, it literally is delicious and worth making over and over again. But I confess, it is not exactly how I remember it tasting when my neighbors made it. They, like so many of us cooking at home, did not have a recipe. Back then, I only wrote down ingredients, no quantities, and then had to rely on my 25 year old memory of how they put it all together. I will continue to work out the ratios and quantities, but until then, I have a darn delicious recipe to eat in the meantime.When grilling, watch your flame, you do not want it too high and hot. I neglected one section of burners and well the poor wings got a bit charred. Luckily, I love a bit of char, but not everyone does.
[ad] Thai Barbecue Cornish Hens
- 4 Tyson Cornish Hens; butterflied (spatchcocking)
- 4 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 6 garlic cloves; minced
- 2 shallots; minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro; chopped
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Kikkoman low-sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 lime; juiced (about 2 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl; set aside.
Preparing the Hens
- Remove hens from packing, rinse them off and pat dry using paper towels.
- Butterfly (spatchcock) the Tyson Cornish Hens, using kitchen shears cut out their backbones by cutting up one side of the bone and then other, from the end to the neck. (Bones can be reserved for making broth at a later date, freeze until ready to use.)
- Once the back bone is removed, open the hen up, use your hands to flatten the birds by breaking the breast bone, a little pressure is needed.
- Place the birds in either a large pan, bowl, dish, or zip-seal bag.
- Pour the marinade over the hens and make sure it is worked in to both sides and under the skin.
- Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to over night.
- Pre-heat the grill, making sure the grates are clean and if needed, oiled.
- Allow the hens to come unto room temperature before grilling, about 15 minutes is needed.
- Place each hen on the grill, with the breasts facing upward. Make sure they stay flat. Use a foil covered brick to keep them flat if needed.
- Grill for 10 minutes and then flip, grilling an additional 10 minutes or until the hens have reached the desired doneness of at least 160° F.
It’s been a couple of days since I made these and I am missing them already. I might need to pop back over to the store and pick up a few more hens. How might you combine Tyson’s Cornish Hens and your favorite Kikkoman Sauce?