Cornish Hens with Orange-Curry Glaze

Cornish Hens

Recipe from Weber's On the Grill™: Chicken & Sides by Jamie Purviance

Serves: 2 to 4 // Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: 28 to 47 minutes | Special equipment: poultry shears, instant-read thermometer



  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens, each 1½ to 2 pounds, giblets removed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  2. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
  3. Using poultry shears cut along both sides of each backbone and discard them. Turn the hens over, with the skin side facing up, and press with the palms of both hands to crack the rib bones and flatten the hens.
  4. Lightly coat the skin of each hen with oil and season evenly with the rub. Set aside while making the glaze.
  5. In a small saucepan combine the glaze ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the glaze begins to thicken, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the butter, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  6. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the hens, skin side down, over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until the skin is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Being careful not to tear the skin, turn the hens over and grill them until lightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes.
  7. Move the hens over indirect high heat and cook, skin side up, with the lid closed, for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the skin with a thin layer of the glaze, using just enough so it doesn’t drip into the grill. Continue to cook until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 5 to 15 minutes more, brushing every 5 minutes with the glaze. Keep the lid closed as much as possible during grilling.
  8. Transfer the hens to a cutting board. Brush with the glaze and let rest for about 5 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time). Cut each hen in half lengthwise along the breastbone. Serve warm with additional glaze on the side, if desired.

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