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Cornish Game Hens, Cooked Under A Brick, With Orzo Risotto And Grilled Zucchini

Cornish Game Hens, Cooked Under A Brick, With Orzo Risotto And Grilled Zucchini

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour plus time for marinating
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/4 pounds each
  • 4 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil
  • 1 tablespoon Essence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • Orzo Risotto
  • Grilled Zucchini


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and crushed red pepper. Mix to combine and then set the marinade aside.

  • Place the hens on a cutting board. With a boning knife, cut along the backbone and remove. Place the hens breast-side down and using the heel of your hand, push down to break the breastbone and flatten. Remove the back bone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Tuck the wing tips behind the joint of the wing that meets the breast.

    Place the hens a 9 by 13-inch non-reactive baking dish, and add the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours, turning occasionally to evenly coat.

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and preheat the bricks for 20 minutes. (Alternately, heat the bricks on the grill for 30 minutes.)

  • Preheat a grill to medium heat.

  • Remove the birds from the marinade and season on both sides with the Essence, salt, and pepper.

  • Place the birds, breast-side down, on the grill. Place 2 bricks on each bird to cover completely and to flatten the birds down against the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the birds at a 90 degree angle and cook, for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the bricks and turn the birds over. Cook on the second side for 2 minutes, then turn 90 degrees and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the birds test done using a thermometer. Remove from the grill, place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before carving. 

    Serve with the Orzo Risotto and Grilled Zucchini.

Recipe Details