Grilled Cornish Hens with Garlic Pureed Garlic Scapes and Lemons (farmers market bill $18/2 servings= $9/serving)
When I say Cornish, surely you must think of everyone’s favorite Celtic language. Or maybe a taste that reminds you slightly of corn. Not corn entirely but corn-ish. But when I hear the word, I think of the Cornish Game Hens that are popping up at farmers markets all over the place. They are really just small chickens but their meat is delicate, they cook quickly, and they can take bold seasonings. I’m also seeing lots of garlic scapes hanging out at the farmers markets these days often for a dollar or 2 per bunch. And if there is a better way to blast a dish full of garlic flavor, I’m not sure what it is.
I like to puree the scapes in a food processor along with some lemon juice and salt. Herbs are great here too if you have any hanging around. Also, I love grilling some dandelion greens or even chard right alongside the birds.
Cook well and see you in Cornwall!
Grilled Cornish Hens with Garlic Pureed Garlic Scapes and Lemons
The night before:
Puree 4 garlic scapes, 2 cloves of garlic, and the juice from 1 lemon (reserve lemon halves for later) in a food processor.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pulse to blend together.
With a chef’s knife or kitchen shears, split hen down the middle
Put the halves in a large bowl and pour garlic scape puree over
Cover and refrigerate overnight
Preheat a gas grill with the flame on as high as possible
Remove hen from marinade and pat dry
Grill hens skin side down for 5 minutes and then rotate and cook for another 3
Turn heat to low and flip hen over
Baste with marinade and place lemon halves on top of hen
Close grill top and cook for 12-15 minutes and then check thigh temperature
When the thigh temperature reads 175
Remove hen from grill and let it rest for 10 minutes so juices have time to reincorporate.