The first time I tried making Cornish hens was last year.  I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried them before that but I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what they were, which, in turn, meant that I had no idea how to cook them.  After seeing them repeatedly in the store, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to buy some.  Pinterest has answers for any type of cooking dilemma one may stumble across so that’s where I turned for answers.  After a little research, I discovered that a cornish hen is a chicken.  Yep, it’s a chicken – just a small version of a chicken.  Kind of a duh moment for me since I do know that a hen is a female chicken.  In my defense though, Cornish hens can be male or female.  Anyway, now I know.

Back to my story though, after feeling adventurous and buying a couple of Cornish hens, I decided to bake them.   It was just my husband and I for dinner that night and we loved them.  Once I realized how easy they are to make and how delicious they are to eat, I’m ready to experiment more.

We’re celebrating Labor Day here in the U.S., which to many symbolizes the official end to summer.  Since summer represents grilling and lounging in the pool, I decided it was the perfect time to try something new and grill up some Cornish hens.  When we talk about grilling something, Cornish hens never come up.  I’m really not sure why either – they are the perfect choice to marinate and throw on the grill.  So that’s just what I did!

We love having a pool in our back yard and being able to relax there and throw some chicken on the grill.  But while browsing the aisles at Walmart, I noticed some Tyson® Cornish Hens in the freezer area near the meat section.  Actually, what I noticed was how low the price was and that the package said they are all natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Since we’ve been remodeling our upstairs and replacing the floors, we’ve been on the budget menu so we could pay cash for the remodel and I always look for food that have no added hormones or steroids.  I really like bringing home something kinda fancy that seems expensive and have my husband question me about it.  Then I proceed to tell him what a great deal I got and it wasn’t even on sale.  I’ll admit it – that feels good!

But the question lingered, how was I going to cook these?  Then it came to me!  It was like an epiphany!  Okay, so maybe it was more like I noticed the bottle of  Kikkoman® Orange Sauce on the condiment shelf and said “hey, that would be perfect”.  We regularly use Kikkoman Soy Sauce since it’s traditionally brewed but I wanted something different for our end of summer cookout.  After reading the label, I decided that Kikkoman was perfect to enhance the flavor of my Tyson Cornish game hens.

I’ve never grilled a whole chicken, and that’s what we decided a Cornish game hen was so I had to figure out how to do that and make sure it was cooked thoroughly.  It was much simpler than I thought!  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you how!

The Tyson Cornish hens were frozen so I had to let them thaw in the refrigerator.

The only ingredients you’ll need for this simple recipes are a couple of Tyson Cornish hens, a bottle of Kikkomen Orange Sauce and some rosemary.

Once the hens were thawed, I flipped each one over and cut out the bone in the middle.  This is what allows the hen to lay flat on the grill and cook thoroughly and evenly.

Then I placed the hens in a baking dish and poured the Kikkoman Orange Sauce over the hens.  We were grilling 4 hens so we had plenty for lunch leftovers so I used an entire bottle of Kikkoman.

I used a pastry brush to make sure the sauce covered every area of the hen.

I added some rosemary to each hen and then stuck it in the refrigerator for an hour while I made this Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge for dessert.  I’ve said that pumpkin is my favorite flavor of fall so I figured this was the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  Kind of like a passing of the torch from one season to the next.

Then it was time to fire up the grill and get dinner going!  Lay each hen flat on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes, then flip and cook 15 minutes on the other side, or until completely done.  The skin will get nice and crisp….YUM!

Once the Cornish hen is thoroughly grilled, remove from the grill, allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.  We had a mixture of wild rice, quinoa, spinach and mushrooms and it was absolutely amazing!

See how easy it is to whip up a fancy meal like this and impress all of your friends with your grilling skills?

Grilled Cornish Hens


2 Tyson Cornish Hens
1/2 bottle Kikkomen Orange Sauce
2 teaspoons rosemary


Thaw hens overnight in refrigerator.
Wash thoroughly.
Flip each hen over and cut out the bone using kitchen shears (this will help the hens lay flat on the grill).
Pour orange sauce over each hen. Using a pastry brush, be sure the entire hen is coated.
Sprinkle rosemary on top and marinate in refrigerator for about an hour.
Place hens on hot grill and cook for 15 minutes. Flip and cook 15 minutes on the other side.
Remove from grill when thoroughly cooked and serve.

Be sure to check out more delicious ways to grill up Tyson Cornish Hens and ideas for using Kikkoman® Sauces in your favorite recipes by visiting here.  

Have you ever tried Cornish hens?  

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