2 ratings

Cornish Hen With Roasted Vegetables

Grill up some Cornish hens this summer


Whether you’re looking to shake up your holiday meals or just want to have a classy dish at your summer backyard barbecues, this beautiful hen dish will get the job done.

This recipe is courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery.


Prepare the Hens:

  • 4 Cornish game hens, about 1 pound each

For the Hen Brine:

  • 2 Cups Breckenridge Agave Wheat Beer
  • 1/4 Cup salt
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons herbs de Provence (or 1 tablespoons oregano and 3 bay leaves)
  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • 2 Cups ice

For the Rub:

  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper (or Savory Spice Whiskey Barrel Aged Pepper)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup lemon juice, plus zest of the lemon

For the Roasted Vegetables and Cooking the Hens:

  • 12 heirloom carrots, peeled and blanched
  • 1 sweet onion, cut half in squares
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • Brined and seasoned Cornish game hens


Prepare the Hens:

Pat hens dry with paper towels and place breast-side-down on a large cutting board.

Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting along either side of it.

Turn hen over and lay out flat.

Press firmly on breast to flatten the hens.

For the Hen Brine:

Heat 2 cups beer with herbs, salt, and sugar.

Steep for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, add ice cubes and buttermilk, mix well and pour over the hens.

Make sure the liquid is cold before doing this, add more ice or refrigerate if needed.

Let hens sit in the brine for at least 3 hours.

For the Rub:

Blend the rub with an immersion blender or pulse in a blender, slowly drizzling oil at the end to thicken.

Pour into a large bowl and dip all hens to coat completely.

For the Roasted Vegetables and Cooking the Hens:

Fire up half the grill to high heat, and the other half to medium. Oil grates well.

Lay hens down, skin side up. Grill for about 4 minutes and make a 90 degree turn. Grill for another 6 minutes and move to the medium side of the grill.

Re-oil the grates and drop the carrots and onion, turning every 2 minutes until they start to char.

Move to cool side of the grill and drop zucchini. Char and flip, move to the medium side of the grill.

At this point, flip the hens to skin side down on the hot side of the grill and crisp the skin. This process ensures the crispiest skin. You can certainly save a step by grilling both sides of the chicken to begin, but you risk the skin sticking and tearing on the grill. If you let it “bake” a bit, skin side up, it will be much more forgiving.

Turn the whole grill to medium, close the lid, and enjoy a Breckenridge beer. Everything will be ready in about 10 minutes.

Breckenridge Brewery