Afghan-Style Game Hens

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 412


4 Cornish hens or game hen, (each about 1 pound)
3/4 cup olive oil, extra-virgin
3/4 cup plain yogurt, whole-milk
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
3 onions, medium, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 to 4 jalapeno chiles, or bird peppers, thinly sliced


1. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body cavities of the game hens. Remove the packages of giblets (if any) and set aside for another use. Rinse the hens, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place the hens in a large, deep nonreactive bowl or baking dish and set aside while you prepare the marinade.

2. Combine the oil, yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a medium-size bowl and whisk to blend. Stir in the onions, garlic, sliced lemon, and bird peppers, then pour the mixture over the game hens in the larger bowl, turning the birds to coat. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, 8 to 24 hours (the longer the better), turning the hens occasionally.

3. Set up the grill for rotisserie cooking.

4. When ready to cook, place the hens on the spit and set the spit in place on the grill. Turn on the rotisserie and cook until the birds are nicely browned and the juices run clear when the tip of a skewer or sharp knife is inserted in the thickest part of a thigh, 20 to 35 minutes if the grill is covered, somewhat longer uncovered.

5. Unspit the hens and transfer to a cutting board or platter. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

Note: If desired, you may cook the hens directly on the grill. Spatchcook the birds or cut lengthwise in half with poultry shears, then marinate as directed in step 2 and grill as directed in the preceding recipe.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 412
Calories from Fat: 360

This Afghan-Style Game Hens recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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