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Smoked Rock Cornish Hens


  • Hickory chips (plus apple and cherry chips, if available)
  • 7 Cornish hens (or as many as grill will accommodate)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce per hen
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar per hen
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 to 8 dashes Tabasco sauce


  1. Mix equal parts of hickory, apple and cherry chips for smoke. If apple and cherry chips are unavailable, use all hickory. Soak in water for AT LEAST 48 hours for maximum smoke.
  2. Thaw, unstuff, wash and truss hens well. Sprinkle liberally (in proportions listed) with soy sauce and wine vinegar. Marinate 3 to 4 hours, basting and turning frequently.
  3. Start fire and when coals are red, add handful of wet chips. When fire is ready and smoke is ample, pour marinade from hens into a bowl (add a little more wine vinegar and soy sauce if necessary) and add oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce. Place hens on rack in smoker. Baste with sauce every 15 or 30 minutes until done. Add more wet chips as required to maintain smoke. Total cooking time is approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on cooker and smoke.

Yield: 7 servings

The smoked hens may be cooled, securely wrapped and frozen for later use. Thaw hens and place in slow oven (250 degrees F to 275 degrees F) for about 30 minutes. This allows the "smoke" to re-penetrate the hens.

This is good served with a wild rice dish, green vegetables and fruit salad.

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