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  • Charles Fortson, Jr.

Chow Time: Honey-glazed grilled Cornish Hens

By Guest Cooking Columnist Charles Fortson, Jr

LET ME SAY THIS!  !*&^%+%7*&(ijokjr^%rgyj!!

There are chicken dinners. . . .and then there are chicken dinners.

Cornish Hens transform the ordinary chicken dinner into something special. They are little barred rock chickens,

hard-working member of the backyard chicken flock, beautiful, calm, and productive, one of Americas’ first and finest poultry creations, a worldwide success for thousands of poultry breeders, enthusiasts, and backyard ‘keepers for well over 100 years.

Cooked properly, Cornish Hens will make for a more tender and juicier culinary experience, more elegant than the chicken dinner you ordinarily serve. And more good news: you’ll probably find them slightly less expensive at your neighborhood grocery store.

Ingredients: One Cornish Hen for each person served. (my favorites is Tyson’s). Weber Dry Rub Louisiana Cajun Seasoning (or your favorite all purpose seasoning) Raw honey from local bee keepers Salt-red pepper brine to marinate Cornish Hens overnight (optional)


1. With a meat shear, cut each Cornish Hen in half and remove excess fat and skin and the tip wing.

2. Apply your favorite all purpose seasoning (I like Louisiana Cajun Seasoning) and a healthy layer of Weber Dry Rub to each Cornish hen half.

3. Prepare a grill at medium to high heat level.

4. Sear both sides of each Cornish Hen half.

5. Reduce grill heat to low to medium.

6. Cook each Cornish Hen half 40 to 45 minutes, or until done.

7. At about 10 minutes before taking chicken off the grill, liberally baste both sides of each Cornish Hen half with raw honey.

After the initial preparation of the Cornish Hen halves and before seasoning them, some cooks like to marinate them for extra flavor and tenderness:

1. In large pot, prepare a brine with a gallon of water, ½ cup of salt and a tablespoon of red pepper.

2. Place Corish Hen halves in brine, making sure it covers them.

3. Refrigerate overnight to marinate. When temperature of brine and Cornish Hen halves equalize, the hens absorb the sale and pepper mix.

4. After marinating, remove the hen halves, and season and grill as described.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Charles Fortson, Jr., is proprietor-chef at Uncle Ray’s across from Lake Lincoln State Park. He makes lunches and dinners to take out or for table service, while also operating a convenience store and bait shop at his Sunset Road location. Follow his cooking tips on Uncle Ray’s Facebook page or call 601-643-0174 to check on his daily specials.


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