The idea for these grilled game hens is borrowed from my highly successful Cornell chicken experiments, and uses a similar acid/salt/oil/egg concoction. This time the part of egg is played by mayo. Needless to say, you can season this a million ways and use any combination of hot chilies, but the little kick the habanero adds is really nice.

Chef John
Advertisement

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Blend jalapeno pepper, habanero pepper, garlic, vegetable oil, sherry vinegar, mayonnaise, and 2 teaspoons salt together in a blender until marinade is smooth.

    Advertisement
  • Place halved hens in a large bowl. Pour marinade over the chickens and turn to coat completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

  • Remove hens from marinade, shaking off any excess, place hens on a plate, skin-side up. Discard remaining marinade. Season skin-side of hens with salt.

  • Cook hens on the preheated grill, turning occasionally, until skin is crisped, meat is no longer pink at the bone, and juices run clear, about 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Cook's Note:

You can substitute chickens for the Cornish game hens.

Nutrition:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

417 calories; 33.3 g total fat; 154 mg cholesterol; 1277 mg sodium. 1.6 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (5)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2015
this was super tasty.. game hen is $2.49/lb here in socal.. and i can get chicken quarters for $0.69/lb so that's what i went with.. i used 4 thighs and 1 drumstick and it was very tasty.. bf said i should have left in some of the seeds to bring some more heat but i thought it was plenty flavorful.. ty for the recipe Read More
(4)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2015
this was super tasty.. game hen is $2.49/lb here in socal.. and i can get chicken quarters for $0.69/lb so that's what i went with.. i used 4 thighs and 1 drumstick and it was very tasty.. bf said i should have left in some of the seeds to bring some more heat but i thought it was plenty flavorful.. ty for the recipe Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2015
this was super tasty.. game hen is $2.49/lb here in socal.. and i can get chicken quarters for $0.69/lb so that's what i went with.. i used 4 thighs and 1 drumstick and it was very tasty.. bf said i should have left in some of the seeds to bring some more heat but i thought it was plenty flavorful.. ty for the recipe Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
03/31/2018
For the marinade I used a whole head of garlic oil apple cider vinegar an egg salt pepper Thai green curry paste and capers. Blend. Spatchcocked the Cornish hen. Placed in a zip lock with the marinade and left it in the fridge for 1.5 to 2 hours. Then cook as Chef John indicated. Just a twist to the marinade. Read More
(2)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2017
Fantastic! So simple yet so good. The jalapeño was amazing. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/06/2017
I made this with chicken drumsticks instead of cornish hens. They came out fantastic. I was a little leery about how spicy they would be but maybe I was lucky with the peppers. They had a wonderful fresh jalapeno taste but not hot at all. They were super tasty chicken was moist skin crispy. Don't forget to dust very lightly with salt (I used sea salt) before taking them off the grill. It added another dimension to the taste. Thank you Chef John for yet another great recipe! As the other reviewer I will keep some seeds the next time for additional heat. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/14/2017
I don t very often review recipes unless they are out of this world amazing. THIS WAS! I didn t take the seeds out of the peppers and it was awesome otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Gave it just a tiny bit of heat. SUPER juicy. Read More
Advertisement