Cornish Hens & Wild Rice

Cornish Hens are something that the Pleasant Lady and I have enjoyed as a special meal for a long time.   We discovered a recipe we loved early in our marriage and it’s on our “go-to” list for special occasions. Until recently I’d never tried to prepare this recipe on the BGE but I’m always up for a challenge.


All the ingredients for a really easy but special meal. Either fresh or frozen, Cornish Hens are a special treat though simple to prepare.

The original recipe calls for stuffing the hens with cooked wild rice but we seldom do that to assure even cooking. I took an approach very much like Paella even using my Paella pan for baking. Here’s how it went:

  • 2 Cornish Hens
  • 1 Package of Long Grain & Wild Rice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Rosemary & Thyme (honestly, I was out of Parsley – made me angry)
  • Olive Oil
  • ¼ Cup of Orange Juice
  • ¼ Cup of White Karo Syrup

The BGE was set for direct cooking and stabilized  at 350°.

I oiled the paella pan with olive oil and placed the cleaned, dried and then oiled birds in the pan with breast side up. Sprinkled on a liberal coat of all the spices – honestly, I did want parsley as well but not so much that I went to the store.   I tossed some spices into the cavity as well.


I used my BGE paella pan.

I poured the contents of the rice mix around the birds – including the required water. The OJ an Karo syrup were mixed together and reserved for later use.


The paella pan is heavy steel and can handle the heat from direct cooking very well.

The pan went directly on the grate of the BGE and we closed it up about 30 minutes before taking a peak. While the BGE was open I drizzled some of the OJ & Karo mixture on the bird and the rice.   They then cooked for another 20 minutes and I checked them with my ThermaPen instant read thermometer. They were done – actually well done at 170° but I’m fond of taking poultry up more than is required. There was plenty of liquid & moisture so they were really juicy and tender.   I drizzled them again with the OJ mixture putting the remainder on the rice.


Cornish Hens are tasty and tender. We can’t ever really decide on what’s an appropriate serving – one is a bit too much but serving a half is not only messy it just seems tacky! So give a guest a whole one and don’t make them angry.

Carefully, that paella pan gets hot, I removed the pan from the BGE and served them up with the rice and asparagus that I tossed on the grate as the birds came off.


No matter what you put around them the Cornish Hens plate up wonderfully. We usually serve with with a frozen cranberry salad that’s a great compliment. Think Thanksgiving with everyone having their own miniature turkey!

It was a super version of our favorite recipe – we’ll do it this way again!







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2 Responses to "Cornish Hens & Wild Rice"

  1. Carl Gandolfo says:

    Looks great!! Can’t wait to try this, but in an inside oven. I live in an apartment and fires are frowned upon!

  2. Joy Poole says:


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