What great stories you can tell about how these hens got flat. Flattened “Highway” chicken cooks evenly on the grill. Put potatoes wedges “chips” on the grill at the same time, and have a BBQ feast!
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!
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 they were a hit!
If you purchase any of the products through these affiliate links, I get a few pennies that help keep The Good Plate open. I use these products myself and want you to be able to easily find them.
- 2 Cornish hens
- Wood chips, soaked
- 1 can of beer
- 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
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Wood chipsSoak the wood chips in water at least an hour before starting up the grill.
- 1 can of beerTo 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 Tablespoons Sea Salt, 4 Tablespoons Black Peppercorns, 4 Tablespoons Garlic Powder, 8 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, 4 Tablespoons Mustard SeedIf you have a small food processor, put everything in the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- 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.
- Use about 2 to 3 tablespoons of rub for every 2 pounds of chicken.
- 2 Tablespoons Honey, 1 Tablespoon Mustard, 1 Tablespoon Olive OilStir the glazing ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.
- 2 Cornish hensCut out the spine,
- Blot dry using paper towels,
- Fold it open and push it flat,
- Stick in two steel skewers crosswise to keep it flat,
- Dry RubUse 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.
- Put the chicken skin side down, legs facing the coals over the drip pan, and roast for a half an hour
- GlazeTurn skin side up, legs facing away from the coals, and start putting the glaze on. Glaze every five minutes or so.
- Brush the glaze on all sides of the meat during the last half hour of smoking. Make sure you cover all corners and crevices!
- Repeat mopping every five or ten minutes or so in order to build up a nice and thick layer of shiny glaze.
- You should be all done in an hour. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F / 73.8 C. Use an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.