I'm excited about today's recipe because I've been thinking about it for a long time and I finally picked "Superbowl Sunday" to put it together. I bring you, "Cornish Game Hens, Wrapped in a Lattice of Bacon," or, "Cornish Game-Day Hens!"
Come on, admit it. You've walked past a bin of these cute little birds at the grocery store and you've thought, "Those look like fun, but I have no idea what to do with them." I highly recommend that you get a few and keep them in your freezer for "emergencies." They're cheap, they're delicious, they cook quickly, and they're impressive to present. If you're dating a carnivore (and really, why wouldn't you be?), putting a plate together for your sweetheart that has an entire bird on it, cooked and ready for consumption, well; there's not a quicker way to win their heart. Valentine's day is coming, so if you need to say, "I Love You" or "I'm kinda glad you're hanging around," or even if you have to say, "I'm sorry," this bird will go a long way toward making your feelings known. So, get busy!
You Will Need:
- Bacon. Good, thick, lean bacon. 12 slices per hen.
- Small "individual serving" cans of tomato juice or V8, empty (Drink up), 1 per hen
- Olive Oil
- Your favorite Dry Rub. For this recipe, I like equal amounts of:
- Homemade Chipotle Chili Powder
- Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Butcher's twine
- 12oz of good beer (4oz for the recipe, and 8oz for personal use)
- 2oz of Bourbon Whiskey (for personal use)
Leave the birds on the heat at 375 for about 45 minutes. Enjoy some Whiskey. When the time is up, take their temperature at the breast with an instant-read thermometer. You're looking for 160 degrees. Be super careful here, because these hens will dry out QUICKLY, so don't let them get over 165. 160-165 degrees yields a perfectly done, tender, soft, super juicy bird! 170 degrees brings words like, "Dry" and/or "Hockey Puck" to your table and you don't want that.