English cucumber, unpeeled, or 2 regular cucumbers, peeled, very thinly sliced
cup white wine vinegar
cup pickling spice
tablespoons onion, minced
clove garlic, finely minced
tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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)
Total Fat31g (48%)
Saturated Fat 7g (35%)
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate6g (2%)
Dietary Fiber 2g
Vitamin A %
Vitamin C %
* 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.