Deviled hens under a brick

Total Time
30 min
6 min
24 min
Succulent Cornish hen halves are infused with the zesty flavors of lemon, rosemary, and garlic and cooked while weighted beneath bricks on the grill or in a grill pan. This process ensures the meat is of uniform thickness so that it cooks quickly and evenly. Cornish hens are not game birds, rather they are small broiler chickens that are a hybrid of Cornish and White Plymouth Rock hens that weigh in at less than two pounds. Cut the lemon in half after zesting it and grill the halves cut-side down while the hens cook. Then squeeze the grilled lemon over the cooked birds to serve.



1 item(s), large


1½ tsp, fresh, chopped


2 large clove(s), minced

Crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Uncooked skinless Cornish hen

2½ pound(s), 2 (1 1⁄4-pound) cut in half, giblets discarded


  1. Grate the zest from the lemon; set aside. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half.
  2. Combine the lemon zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and ground pepper in a small bowl. With your fingers, loosen the skin over the thighs and breasts. Rub some of the lemon mixture evenly under the skin; spread the remaining mixture on the outside of the hens. Place the hens in a large zip-close plastic bag. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
  3. Spray the grill rack with nonstick spray; preheat the grill to medium-low or prepare a medium-low fire.
  4. Wrap 2 clean bricks in foil. Place 2 hen halves, skin side up, on one side of the grill rack. Top with a brick. Repeat. Grill, covered, about 15 minutes. Turn the hens and top with the bricks. Grill, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 180°F, 12 – 15 minutes. Remove the skin before eating. Yields 1/2 hen per serving.