Flattened Cornish Game Hens With Garlic-citrus Marinade

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

A delicious entree that is easy enough for a weekday dinner, yet pretty enough for a dinner party. Serve with stir-fried summer squash, a salad and french bread. The recipe comes from Bon Appetit.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare BBQ (Medium heat).
  2. Combine olive oil, chopped thyme, garlic,lemon peel, lime peel, honey, salt, and pepper in a baking dish and stir marinade to blend well.
  3. Place hens on work surface and cover with plastic wrap and pound gently with mallet to flatten slightly.
  4. Place hen halves in marinade in dish, using fingers, rub both sides of hens with marinade.
  5. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Grill hen halves until just cooked through and skin is lightly charred, brushing with remaining marinade, about 12 minutes per side.
  7. Arrange hen on plates and garnish lemon wedges, lime wedges, and fresh thyme sprigs.


Most Helpful

Used this marinade on chicken leg quarters instead of Cornish hens because that is what I had. Next time I would use the juice of both the lime and the lemon along with the rind of each instead of the amount posted.

LARavenscroft October 20, 2013

Based on the other reviews, I dropped the lime zest and added the juice of one lemon. It was actually pretty tasty this way and still moist. Too about 30 minutes on a medium grill. I removed the backbones and just laid flat, turning half way through and basting with remaining sauce.

Sherri at the Beach March 28, 2009

This was a very easy recipe to make and sounds great. Although the end results for us was not so great. I grilled them on the grill for a little longer than the recommended time but should have allowed another 20 minutes or so. The lemon and lime marinade/basting sauce over was very overpowering for us on the outside of the hens and for some reason the meat was very bland. My wife commented that other than the strong lemon & lime flavor she would have thought I had poached the hens due to the lack of flavor in the meat. They looked wonderful from the start to the finish. They presented well... maybe less citrus and more honey? May try again with some alterations to the recipe.

jdrichardson February 05, 2006

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