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Chicken, Turkey, Duck, etcCORNISH HEN RECIPES >  Jerked Game Hens with Salsa


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The CIA Cookbook
by The Culinary Institute of America
You can substitute chicken breast, pork chops, or rabbit for the game hens in this recipe; adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Makes 6 servings


• 6 game hens
• 3/4 cup Jerk Rub (recipe follows)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 cups Grilled Pineapple-Jicama Salsa (recipe follows)


1. Remove the backbone of each game hen by holding it upright, with the backbone facing you. Run a knife down either side to remove the bone, then lay it on its back and press on the breast to flat- ten the hen.

2. Rub the jerk rub on the game hens to coat evenly. (Wear gloves when working with the rub.) Transfer to a shallow pan, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

3. Preheat a gas grill to medium. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed. Clean the cooking grate.

4. Brush off any excess rub from the game hens. Season the hens with the salt. Grill the game hens over direct heat until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Move the hens to indirect heat and continue to grill, covered and turning as needed, until cooked through (165°F), about 12 to 15 minutes more.

5. Serve the game hens on a heated platter or individual plates with rice and beans on the side and the salsa spooned on top of the hens.

While you have the grill fired up, toss on a few items to have on hand for this quick and delicious salsa.
Makes 4½ cups

    • 3 tbsp lime juice
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    • 2 cups diced grilled pineapple
    • 1 cup jicama julienne
    • 3/4 cup small-dice red onion
    • 3/4 cup small-dice red pepper
    • 2 tsp minced jalapeño, or to taste

Whisk together the lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl. Add the pineapple, jicama, onion, and peppers, and toss to combine well. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the salsa until ready to use. Store any unused salsa in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Make sure you wear gloves when working with the rub; if the oil from those Scotch bonnets comes anywhere near sensitive skin, it burns like fire.
Makes 3/4 cup

    • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 scallions, chopped
    • 1 Scotch bonnet, chopped
    • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
    • 2 tsp ground allspice
    • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 cup dark rum
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth, thick paste. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store any unused rub in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



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