Smoked Cornish Hens with Summer Pickles

Smoked Cornish Hens with Summer Pickles Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep/Cook Time: 65 Minutes
Servings: 4
Average Rating: Star Star Star Star Star


2 cups wood chips
8 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1.5 ounces) jar pickling spice
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pine nuts
Summer Pickles:
1 English cucumber, unpeeled, or 2 regular cucumbers, peeled, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup pickling spice
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch cayenne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

  1. Place wood chips in a disposable container and cover with water.  Soak 30 minutes to 24 hours.  Drain and wrap in three layers of aluminum foil, poking holes in foil to allow smoke to escape.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Split hens in half by cutting through breastbones and backbones.  Grind together bay leaves, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a clean coffee grinder or blender.  Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in salt.  Rub hen halves all over with the spice mixture. 
  3. Push coals to one side of grill, using tongs.  Replace grill rack.  (Or, if using a gas grill, turn off burners on one half of the grill.)
  4. Stir together pickling spice and 2 cups water in a metal disposable pie pan, and place pan on cool side of the grill, along with hens – not over the coals or burners.  Place packet of wood chips on the hot side of grill. 
  5. Close the lid and open the vents to maintain fire. Let hens smoke for about 45 minutes, until juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted in the center of breast registers 170° F.  While the hens are cooking, make the pickles, and serve them as a side dish.



Summer Pickles

  1. Sprinkle sliced cucumbers with salt in a medium bowl; toss and set aside for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine vinegar and pickling spice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit until cool.
  2. Wrap cucumbers in a paper towel and squeeze out moisture.  Return to bowl and strain seasoned vinegar over them, discard pickling spices.  Stir in onions, garlic, sugar, olive oil and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Chill.  Sprinkle with pine nuts, if desired, before serving with hens.

  • Serving Size 283g

  • Servings Per Recipe 4

  • Amount Per Serving (* % of Daily Value)

  • Calories 430

  • Total Fat 31g (48%)

  • Saturated Fat 7g (35%)

  • Trans Fat 0g

  • Cholesterol 170mg (56%)

  • Sodium 1010mg (42%)

  • Total Carbohydrate 6g (2%)

  • Dietary Fiber 2g

  • Sugars 3g

  • Protein 31g

  • Vitamin A %

  • Vitamin C %

  • Calcium %

  • Iron %

  • * Percent of Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

    ** This is a representation of the nutrition label. The actual nutrition label may vary slightly.

Be the first to write a review for this recipe!

Sign Up    Log In

Email Address


Log In

Forgot your Password?

Email Address


Confirm Password

First Name

Last Name

Zip Code

Sign Up

Search Recipes
Search Products
Our Brands
Where to Buy
Handling Tips
Kitchen Prep
Never Imported
Fresh Taste
100% Veggie Feed
USDA Program
Family Heritage

Other Perdue Sites


AgriBusiness AgriRecycle Careers Perdue Retail Trade
Corporate Foodservice International