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

  • 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 set 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. Tuck the wing tips behind the joint of the wing that meets the breast. Place in 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 flatten. Cook for 5 minutes, turn at a 90 degree angle and cook, for 5 minutes. Remove the bricks and turn the birds. Cook on the second side for 2 minutes, then turn 90 degrees and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the grill, place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut each bird in half lengthwise. Serve with the Orzo Risotto and Grilled Zucchini.