Love the smell of honey mustard grilled chicken? Then this dish is for you! Cornish games hens are first beer brined in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and then grilled, and based in a Honey Pale Ale Mustard Sauce.
In a large pot, add water, parsley, thyme, bay, garlic, onion, lemon, grapefruit, peppercorns, salt and honey. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Add the ice and beer; this will help cool the brine solution. The temperature should be around 36°F/2°C to 38°F/3°C. Refrigerate the brine until it is well chilled (the brine can be made two days in advance). Use either a large 2-gallon container or 2-gallon Ziploc bag and add the Cornish game hen to the brine, then top off with the brine. Place in the refrigerator or in a clean cooler (with Ziploc bags of ice) for at least 12 hours. Remove the hens and dry well with paper towels. Let the hens sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before using to help them cook more evenly.
Grilled Cornish Game Hen Directions:
Prepare the coals or gas heat of a grill to a medium fire. As the coals cook down, take the hen and turn it with the spin facing toward you. Using a sharp knife, cut down both sides of the spine and remove it. Split the chest bone to lay the hen flat. Lightly coat in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the hen onto a clean grill, lightly coated with oil, breast-side up. Cover the grill and let cook for 8 - 10 minutes. Watch for smoke or flare-ups — use a clean spray bottle filled with beer to put the fire out and spritz the hen. Flip the hen over and cook for another 8 - 10 minutes, until the pink color almost disappears in the thickest part of the meat. The thermometer temperature should be about 150°F/66°C. Flip the hen on its back again. Divide the Honey Pale Ale Mustard Sauce into two bowls. With the first bowl, use a brush to coat the skin with the sauce. Cover the grill with a lid for 2 - 3 minutes, then re-baste again; repeat one more time. Once the temperature comes to 160°F/71°C, pull the hen to a serving platter.
Serve with the second bowl of Honey Pale Ale Mustard Sauce (to prevent cross contamination).