Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw

Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw

Cornish Game Hens on the Grill

Recipes in this Post

A few years ago, for Glendale’s Cruise Night, I had a Route 66 party BBQ, and I made Route 66 chicken which was inspired by recipes at Hot Smoked BBQ. I was wracking my brain this morning, trying to think of how to do the two Cornish Hens I’m making for my cousin’s visit on Memorial Day. I thought of that chicken, and am going to prepare it today.

My cousin made chicken legs to supplement the Cornish hens – sadly, they could not be flattened. As a result, there was not enough room on the grill to make the potatoes, but guess what? I have extra coals – potatoes tomorrow!

I will say this is the best chicken I have ever had. Seriously, it was nice and moist because of the can of beer I had in on the grill, and the flavor was out of this world. It cooked evenly, a definite keeper!

Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw

Barbecued potatoes and grilled peppers

Update! Tonight, June 2, 2012, I’m making Highway Chicken again, and the BBQ is in the front of the house, and a neighbor backs into the driveway, to the side, and he’s almost running over my BBQ! And I’m screaming – “CHICKEN! DON’T RUN OVER MY CHICKEN”. Finally, I get his attention, and I tell him the story, and he says, “I didn’t know what you were talking about” as he pulls out a bag of El Polo Loco. Wow, THIS chicken almost WAS a highway chicken!

The good thing is, I got to make those BBQ chips tonight, and there were a hit!



Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
Recipe: Highway Cornish Hens Summary : What great stories you can tell about how these hens got flat
  • 2 Cornish hens
  • Wood chips (soaked)
  • 1 can of beer
  • Dry Rub
  • Glaze
Dry Rub
  • 3 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Black Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 4 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 8 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Mustard Seed, ground
The Glaze
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  1. Soak the wood chips in water at least an hour before starting up the grill.
  2. To get the grill started, put a drip pan filled with beer on one side of the grate, and the coals on the other. You will be cooking the birds over the drip pan.
  3. To flatten the birds:
  4. Cut out the spine,
  5. Wash it under cold running water,
  6. Blot dry using paper towels,
  7. Fold it open and push it flat,
  8. Stick in two steel skewers crosswise to keep it flat,
  9. Use your fingers to rub the dry rub on the skin and all the crevices. Make sure that you put some in the cavity of the chicken, too.
  10. Put the chicken skin side down, legs facing the coals over the drip pan and roast for a half an hour.
  11. Turn skin side up, legs facing away from the coals, and start putting the glaze on. Glaze every five minutes or so.
  12. You should be all done in an hour.
The Rub
  1. If you have a small food processor, put everything in the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. If you don't have a small food processor, then put all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and mix everything thoroughly. Break any lumps of brown sugar using the back of a spoon, or use your fingers.
  3. Use about 2 to 3 tablespoons of rub for every 2 pounds of chicken.
The Glaze
  1. Stir the glazing ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.
  2. Brush on all sides of the meat during the last half hour of smoking. Make sure you cover all corners and crevices!
  3. Repeat mopping every five or ten minutes or so in order to build up a nice and thick layer of shiny glaze.
You can have all kinds of fun with this recipe - telling people how the chicken got so flat - got run over by a truck!

BBQ Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
Recipe: BBQ Chips Summary : Across the pond, potato wedges are called chips
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Cut the potatoes into even wedges, about 1 inch thick at their thickest point.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to coat.
  3. Have the BBQ ready and roast the potatoes using the indirect method.
  4. They should be done in about an hour.
You don't have to add herbs to this if you don't have fresh herbs, it's fine with just sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. You could use other herbs for this, but they should be fresh.


Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw

Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw
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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

7 Responses to Memorial Day Highway Chicken, BBQ Chips and Coleslaw

  1. Kyoko Timchula says:

    Very good idea!

  2. Cassi Carrizales says:

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  3. Elaina Hoecker says:

    Thanks for the update about the chips, they look great!

    • Adrienne Boswell says:

      Yup, they were really good, too. You could use fingerling potatoes, too, if you don’t want to cut wedges.

  4. Laura says:

    Love this recipe. Glad it’s BBQ season.

  5. Pingback: Joe BBQ

  6. Verna Ogilive says:

    That looks great! I’m making it this weekend.

What to you think?