As we’ve mentioned, we spend the summer doing picnics, cooking outdoors (because we really don’t want to heat up the kitchen if we can avoid it) and throwing our summer parties. This is a simple, simple recipe inspired from a Giada DeLaurentis baked chicken recipe. I still make hers in the winter, but here’s one of my summer Bowl picnic recipes that I love. Instead of chicken pieces, I use Cornish game hens. They grill and transport well, so they’re perfect for a picnic.
Grilled Game Hens with Vinaigrette
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Hop Kiln Orange Zinfandel mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Cornish game hens
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice. (I had fresh rosemary and thyme, so that’s what I added.)
Montreal seasoning to taste
In a large baggie combine the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper and squeeze to blend. Add two game hens whole, seal the bag and turn and lightly squeeze to coat. Press as much air out of the bag as possible and refrigerate, turning the game hens occasionally, for at least two hours and up to one day. Hint: Game hens have sharp parts and can often puncture a baggie. I always place the baggie in a bowl so I don’t have a refrigerator mess to clean up the next morning.
Heat the grill to 250 (if yours has a thermometer). Remove game hens from the baggie and arrange on the grill or a spit. Sprinkle with Montreal seasoning and grill the game hens until cooked through, about one hour (you want your meat thermometer to register 155 degrees at the thigh without touching bone). Split the game hens in half longways with a large knife. You may have to rock it sIightly to get through the back bone but they’re really easy to cut. Wrap them in foil and place them in a fresh baggie.
They will continue to cook a bit longer while wrapped, so I usually undercook a tiny bit. Keep them warm by transporting in an insulated bag.
I picked up this cute insulated bag at Home Goods a couple of weeks ago. They had a huge selection with great prints and very reasonable prices (less than 10 bucks–yay!).