Good to be back again this week. Halloween took a bit of doing this year and got in the way of last week’s post. Mr. Shivers apologizes for our distractions.
This Mondays fare is Hickory Smoked Beer and Honey Brined Cornish Hens and they were great! I enjoy cooking these at this time of year. They are a nice change of pace. I picked up 5 of them at the local market on Tuesday last week and set them out in the garage refrigerator to thaw for 2 days before I was ready for them. Most of the time you have to buy these frozen, so they need to be a planed meal. These sat in the brine for about 2 hours, although you can brine them for up to 4, so you can get started in the morning before your evening meal and get these ready. I used a dry rub created by Walter Jetton who was LBJ’s personal pit master during his presidency back in the mid to late 60’s. This is Walter Jetton’s Poultry Rub.
Without any further adieu, let’s get started.
Hickory Smoked Beer and Honey Brined Cornish Hens For Man Food Mondays
- 5 Cornish Game Hens Thawed
- Spicy Brown Mustard
- 5 12oz bottles of Dark Beer
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 8 to 10 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 gallon ice cubes
- 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- Thaw the Cornish hens in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days prior to cooking.
- Once thawed, remove from wrapper and rinse, set aside in the refrigerator until ready to add to brine..
- Prepare the Brine by adding all the ingredients, except the ice, to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from stove, add the ice and cool the brine to 40°. You can place in the refrigerator or put ice in a zip lock bag and submerge in the brine to help accelerate this process.
- Once the brine has been cooled, I use a gallon sized resealable plastic bag to submerge the Cornish hens. I had an odd number so I put 3 in one bag and 2 in the other. Fill the bags with your chilled brine and try to remove as much air as you can from the bag, then seal it. I put these in a bowl in case they leak and set the bowl in the refrigerator until it's time to get them on the smoker.
- Just before you're ready to remove the Cornish hens from the brine assemble your smoker and bring it up to 250°. You will want to hold that temperature for the entire cook.
- Remove the Cornish hens from the brine and pat dry.
- Coat each hen with the brown mustard and coat with the dry poultry dry rub.
- Place the Cornish Hens on the smoker. Your cook time will be around 3 hours, but the Cornish Hens are not done until the internal temp is 160° checked at the thigh. All smokers do not cook the same so plan for it to take a little longer than 3 hours.
The Cornish Hens were great as I said earlier, they were very moist and the flavor was remarkable. I used my vertical chicken roaster racks to cook these. If you do not have these setting, them on the grill the normal way will get you the same results.
As with all these smoker meals the cook times vary, I recommend getting an early start so you don’t have your people sitting with their fork and knife in hand staring at you because they are hungry and the food is not ready…..
We served these with a stuffed baked eggplant, steamed broccoli and a salad.
I hope you enjoy this and let me know how it works out for you.