Spatchcocked Game Hen with Spicy Apricot Glaze

Tuffy Stone

  • People

    Serves 4 to 6

  • Prep Time

    20 mins

  • Brining Time

    3 h

  • Grilling Time

    25 to 35 mins


the Ingredients

Spatchcocked Game Hen Tuffy Stone

Chicken Brine

  • Completed step Yields 3¼ quarts
  • Completed step 3 quarts Water
  • Completed step 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • Completed step ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • Completed step 1 Large Carrot, rough chop
  • Completed step 1 Celery Stalk, leaves included, rough chop
  • Completed step ¼ Yellow Onion, medium rough chop
  • Completed step ½ Bunch Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, torn in half
  • Completed step ½ Bunch Fresh Thyme
  • Completed step 1 to 2 Bay Leaves
  • Completed step 1 tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns


  • Completed step 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Completed step 1 tablespoon espelette pepper
  • Completed step 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • Completed step 1½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Completed step 1½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Completed step 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Spicy Apricot Glaze

  • Completed step ½ cup apricot preserves
  • Completed step ¼ cup chicken stock
  • Completed step ⅛ cup minced jalapeños
  • Completed step 1 and ½ teaspoon of game hen rub
  • Completed step ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Completed step 4 Rock Cornish game hens
  • Completed step 3 quarts Chicken Brine
  • Completed step 1 cup Spicy Apricot Glaze

Special Equipment

  • 8-quart plastic or stainless steel container
  • fine-mesh strainer
  • poultry shears
  • small bowl

Take Your Grilling Anywhere



  • Prepare the chicken brine 24 to 48 hours before you plan to brine. In a large bowl or 4-quart plastic container, combine 3 quarts of water with the salt and sugar.
  • Stir until most of the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours before using.
  • To brine the game hens, rinse and place the hens in an 8-quart plastic or stainless steel container. Holding a strainer over the container, pour in enough chilled Chicken Brine to completely cover the game hens. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • To make the rub, combine the salt, espelette, pepper, coriander, and garlic in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Reserve 1½ teaspoons for the Spicy Apricot Glaze and set aside.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the butter and 3 teaspoons of the rub and mix until smooth.
  • Prepare the Spicy Apricot Glaze while the hens are brining. To make the Spicy Apricot Glaze, place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well incorporated. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Once brined, remove and pat the game hens completely dry with paper towels.
  • Using poultry shears to spatchcock the hens, remove the backbones from the game hens and lay them out flat.
  • Rub the seasoned butter over and under the skin of the hens, sliding your fingers beneath the skin to gently separate it from the meat. Dust both sides of each game hen evenly with 1 tablespoon of rub.
  • Let the hens rest 1 hour at room temperature.
  • When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to 400º F, using the direct grilling method.
  • Place the game hens skin-side-down over the hot coals, close the grill lid, and cook 10 minutes.
  • Rotate the birds 90 degrees, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Flip the birds so they are skin-side-up. Cook an additional 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 170º F, and the dark meat is 175º to 180º F.
  • Transfer the game hens to a pan or clean work surface, and brush both sides with the Spicy Apricot Glaze.
  • Return them to the grill, skin-side-up, and cook 5 minutes to set the glaze.
  • Transfer the birds to a platter and let them rest 5 minutes before serving.

More Poultry recipes

You May Also Like