Cornish game hens, I've found, are one of those things that turn out really good on the rotisserie. I had been searching for a thermometer that would work with the rotisserie and my new Maverick ET-75 arrived the other day. This was a wireless one that actually could do a rotating spit. I thought the hens would be an ideal opportunity to try out this new thermometer.
The first thing I decided was to try something new with the way I make my hens. Typically, I will simply salt and pepper them. Then I loosen the skin from the body and rub some truffle oil underneath. This makes for a very fragrant, subtle tasting bird. But I felt like trying something different this time. Since I had purchased some pea sprouts at my local Asian Market the other day, I decided to make them Asian style. It's always fun to experiment!
First I made a rub. I took some Chinese Five Spice powder, some powdered ginger and powdered garlic and put them in the spice grinder along with some Szechwan Peppercorns and some white pepper. Boy, did it smell good when I opened the container after blending it!
After I washed the hens and took off a little of the extra fat, I stuck 4 garlic cloves on the inside for a little extra fragrance.
I rubbed the seasoning on the hens, put them in a container and put them back in the fridge for an hour and a half.
When it was time, I took out the hens and put them on the spit. I knew it was going to be a little difficult to put the probe in such a small bird but I thought I'd give it a try. I slipped it as far as I could into the breast of one of the hens and I was good to go.
I set the temp on the thermometer for 150 degrees. The hens needed to be cooked until they were 165 degrees, but I had a plan in mind. I put the spit on, turned on the rear infrared rotisserie element and set them turning.
In the meantime, I got everything else ready. First, I mixed some honey with some dark soy sauce. This was what I was going to brush then hens with when they reached that 150 degree mark. I then put some white rice on the stove to cook and got my veggie ready. I had purchased pea sprouts, these little shoots that are very popular in Asian cuisine. It's one of my very favorite vegetables. With veggies like this I've had really good luck with a microwave steamer, so I put some water in the bottom of the steamer, squeezed the pea sprouts in the top and pour a healthy dose of ponzu sauce on the top of the sprouts.
It was hard not to look in the grill, but just to keep an eye on the remote that came with the thermometer. When it registered 150 degrees, I opened the lid to the grill. Working quickly (because it was hot of course) I brushed the soy/honey sauce over it. I then reset the alarm on the thermometer to 165 degrees.
I was hoping that by the time the hens reached 165 degrees that the sauce would turn into a nice glaze.
It took another 10 minutes or so after I finished and the hens had indeed turned a nice dark brown color. I took them off, let them rest and got the sides ready.
I was quite pleased with the results. The thermometer seemed accurate-----the breast was nice and juicy at the 165 degree temp. The thigh seemed cooked, with no pink showing.
With the thermometer and it's remote, I was able to keep track of the meat outside while I was inside, upstairs.The skin had glazed nicely, crisp but not burned. With the rice and the pea sprouts, it made a delicious dinner.
<message edited by EdSails on Fri, 04/1/11 1:27 AM>