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BBQ Cornish Hens

Prep Time:4 Hours
Cook Time:1 Hours

Nutritional Information

This recipe calls for cornish hens, however any type of poultry can be used.


  • For the BBQ sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • For the hens:
  • 1 cornish game hen
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tablespoons light brown sugar


  • 1. For the rub: Combine kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl or resealable container.
  • 2. For the BBQ Sauce: Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over indirect heat. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until paste turns brick-red, about 2 minutes. Add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and 3 cups water. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by half, about 45 minutes; adjust seasoning to desired taste.
  • 3. Season hen with the rub and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  • 4. Preheat the EGG to 375º using indirect heat. Roast until the internal breast meat temperature reaches 165º F. Rest for 15-20 minutes, carve and serve with the sauce.

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Chef JJ’s is a unique, personal and hands-on culinary experience with a focus on kamado style cooking, corporate team building, private events and grilling classes. Indy's large party restaurant. Indianapolis, Indiana 317.602.3828