I think sauces, marinades and rubs are transformational! They can take a plain piece of meat and make it absolutely scrumptious... heavenly... luscious... yummy! 

As part of RATTLEBRIDGE FARMS  MYSTERY INGREDIENT CLUB, I was given the challenge to use chipotle chilies and come up with a dish! Thanks, Michael Lee. I love this ingredient!

So what does this girl do with a can of chipotle chilies? No problem... I made a fabulous thick marinade for little chickens called Cornish Game Hens and grilled them stuck under a brick!

Here's a step-by-step tutorial of my new favorite summer recipe...




There are so many things I love about this recipe... 

It can be grilled, it can be done in the oven, it is under a brick, it does not have to be under a brick, you can use any meat, it uses Cornish Game Hens, the chicken is cut so it flattens out, did I say I can use a brick?, it's smoky and complex, it's a little spicy,  the chicken comes out succulent, it can be prepped ahead...I love the word chipotle!

I've always had such a fascination with using a brick to cook! So I thought along with this challenge I would bite the culinary bullet and cook with a brick... so fun!!!!

And not only that, cut up my little hens so they lay flat... so easy!!!

Let's get started... I'll show you how!






STONEGABLE CHIPOTLE APRICOT CORNISH GAME HEN UNDER A BRICK

1 brick for each hen ( I used old pavers, scrubbed and dried)
4 Cornish Game Hens
3/4 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic
4 TBS honey
4 TBS apricot jam
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
juice of 2 limes
4-6 chipotle chilies from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (if you don't like heat, start with 2 or 3)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Put the olive oil, garlic, honey and jam in a food processor. Whirl. Do not pulverize the garlic... it should be chunky.

Add the cumin, chili powder, lime juice, chipotle chilies and salt and pepper and whirl. Let the marinade be thick and chunky. Do not over process!







Prepare the chickens by washing them with cold water and patting them with a paper towel.








It's very easy to work with these little guys! I mostly used my kitchen shears to do the cutting.


Cut all the wing tips off at the second joint as shown. Save all the discards from the chicken and use to make chicken stock.






Using your kitchen shears or a small knife, cut up one side of the backbone from one opening to the other.

Using your palms, lay the chicken flat.







You will want to find the keel bone. A soft cartilage like bone  known, I believe, as the keel bone ...or it's the hard bone near it ... anyway, it must be removed.  








Slide a sharp thin knife under the bone and cut it out.

Salt and pepper the game hens well.








That's it for these little Cornish Game Hens...

Look how well they flatten out! Wasn't that easy?








Use a 9 x 13 pan to marinate the hens. Place a small amount of the marinade on the bottom of the pan and place 2 hens on top of it. Cover the top of the hens with marinade and put the remaining hens on top of them covering the top hens with marinade.

I reserve some marinade to use as a dipping sauce. 

DO NOT USE THE MARINADE THAT HAS BEEN TOUCHED BY THE CHICKEN OR ANYTHING THAT TOUCHES THE CHICKEN AS A DIPPING SAUCE.


Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.







When you are ready to grill the hens...

Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Wrap bricks in heavy duty foil.

Place the bricks in the oven on a large rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes.


This can also be done in the grill. Put the grill on high and put the bricks in it for 30 minutes.

Be careful! These bricks are VERY hot!

While the bricks are heating, take the hens out of the refrigerator and let it start coming up to room temperature.

Heat the grill to medium high.


This is Bobby's pride and joy. It's a gas/cowboy charcoal/smoker grill.  I think it looks like the engine of a train!









When the bricks are ready, place the hens skin side down on the grill and cover each one with a brick.

Cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed.

Take the bricks off the hens and turn 45 degrees to make grill marks and replace the bricks on top of the hens. Cook with the lid closed for another 5 minutes.








Remove the bricks and turn the hens over.  Do not put the bricks back on. Cook with the lid closed for 4 minutes.


Cooking times may vary slightly for Cornish Game Hens, make sure that your birds are cooked through.






Remove the Cornish Game Hens to a clean plate and cover with foil. Let them rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the hen down the center of the back and plate.








I like to serve this spicy little hen with a salad and a cool and creamy salad dressing. The brings balance to the flavors. 



Thanks to Michael Lee from RATTLEBRIDGE FARM for including me in this fun culinary challenge!

Wasn't cooking with a brick a blast!!!!


Remember to





I hope you will check out all the other Mystery Ingredient Club members and their take on ...

CHIPOTLE!!!




 
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