It’s time for my September Secret Recipe Club reveal, and I am so excited to introduce you to this All About Healthy Cooking blogger! Her name is Renee, (Hello, Renee! And nice to meet you! ), and she’s a stay at home mom of 3 living in Ohio. Her internet home is Renee’s Kitchen Adventures! She used to have the blessed job of working in a hospital in the Labor and Delivery Unit! Could there be a more beautiful job? I couldn’t imagine getting to be around all those babies! But I’m sure her own three wonderful children, plus one fur baby named “Miss Molly”, may have decided that Mama was more needed at home. Another truly rewarding and blessed job!
I had the extremely difficult job, though, of choosing a recipe of hers to make, and I didn’t think I’d ever get it narrowed down! Because, you see, her collection of recipes was like receiving a beautiful new cookbook on Christmas morning chock-FULL of wonderful goodies! Not like one of those books that you get that’s “meh”, and maybe has one or two that you’ll make “someday”, and the book gets shoved onto a shelf and collects an inch of dust! Sadly, never to be opened again and always passed by for a more favorited cookbook.
Noooooo, this “book” of recipes had my mouth watering at every peek!! I had to go get my hubby to help me choose! Yep, not kidding. He helped me narrow down my long list to 7, but her Italian Sub French Bread Pizzas, Smokehouse Burgers, Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf, Pork Tacos with Cilantro-Avocado Cream Sauce, City “Chicken” , and Pumpkin Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze ALL looked divine! And too many more to even mention! You’ll just have to go check out her blog to see for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!
But we finally chose her Roadside Chicken! I’m a self-crowned grill diva, and my hubby was all OVER this recipe as well as Renee’s drool-worthy photo! So “Roadside Chicken” it was!
Though chicken legs and thighs seemed to be the popular choice, and chicken breasts were said to be just as delicious as well, I decided to meander down a side path and grill up some Cornish Hens for this instead! Besides these poultry choices already mentioned, you could surely also use this recipe for wings, too! Grilling wings and drumettes take only about 18-20 minutes on the grill and are great for upcoming football parties! (Wink! Hint!)
But I was all excited to grill what I had chosen! Two beautiful little Cornish Game Hens! We love them, and they’re super fun and easy to grill. I almost always butterfly them, but this time after butterflying, I decided to go ahead and halve them as well to make turning as easy as possible to keep them pretty.
Renee’s marinade was super simple to whip up, and I already had everything I needed on hand! I chose to use apple cider vinegar as she suggests in her recipe, but I bet a nice white balsamic would be wonderful, too. I let the hens marinate for the longest time allotted, 8 hours, but if you’re not a big fan of vinegar, 2-4 hours would probably be long enough.
I cut down the amount of basting sauce, because I wasn’t cooking as many pieces and I didn’t want to end up with a lot of extra. I loaded up my baking sheet with all of my grilling gear and headed out into the sunshine!
Getting all of your ducks lined up in a row will make your grilling experience much easier and a lot more fun! After oiling the grates and placing the hens onto the grill, I could already tell that this was going to be fantastic! You could smell how wonderful it was going to taste almost immediately!
First turn and they’re already gorgeous!!
After several turns and lots of basting!!
They are finally done thank goodness, because I don’t think I could take all those yummy smells a second longer!!
Plated, resting, and a garnish of fresh-picked flat-leaf parsley! Grab a plate!
I used up every last drop of that marinade so the amount was perfect for two Cornish Hens. If you are cooking more chicken, you may want to double this, which is the amount in Renee’s original recipe. Better to have extra than not quite enough!
The hens ended up perfectly done, but the cooking time will depend on your own grill and whether you have hot/cool spots, are using gas or charcoal, and what temp your grill is. A meat thermometer is a great thing to have.
This was a fantastic recipe that will be enjoyed for years to come, and I’m sure will instantly become a favorite in your home, too! Thanks so much, Renee, for sharing such a wonderful treat!! We really enjoyed this! And perfect timing for a last-of-summer Labor Day barbecue!
See you tomorrow all! ~Kelly
- For Marinade:
- 1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbl. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbl. tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. celery salt
- For Basting Sauce:
- ¼ cup of vinegar (white or cider)
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp. celery salt
- Rest of Ingredients:
- 2 whole thawed Cornish Hens. butterflied and halved
- vegetable oil for grill grates
- In a small bowl, 2-cup glass measuring pitcher or jelly jar, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk, or shake in jar, until sugar has dissolved. Place Cornish Hen pieces into a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, and add the marinade. Close the zipper top tightly to seal removing excess air. Turn bag over several times to coat both sides. Place in fridge for 3 - 8 hours, turning every so often to marinate well.
- *You can make the basting sauce at the same time that you make the marinade, and then just cover it and set it aside until you're ready to grill the chicken. There's nothing in it that will spoil.
- Heat gas grill with lid closed to High to get the grates nice and hot. Turn down grill to med/low, oil grates well with vegetable oil-soaked paper towels using tongs so that chicken won't stick, and add hen halves, skin side-down, to hot grill. (*Discard marinade.) Close lid and grill for 10 minutes. Baste with basting sauce, and turn hen halves using tongs and a sharp spatula if needed to loosen. Baste skin side, close grill lid, and continue grilling for 8 minutes, basting several times.
- Baste again and turn, grilling 5 minutes with lid closed, basting. Baste, turn, and grill another 5 minutes, basting.
- Once about done, start basting every minute with lid up, (turning each time), until hens are done and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, and are nicely browned on all sides. *Watch for flare-ups and close the lid immediately to help snuff them out if they occur while finishing.
- *Total cook time is about 35 minutes. A little longer if your grill is cooler.
- Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.