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Friday, January 2, 2009

Cornish Hens on the Drum Smoker

For the first day of the new year, I decided to smoke a few cornish game hens in my drum smoker.
I brined the birds overnight in a mixture of water, kosher salt, sugar, onions, garlic, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and cracked black pepper....



I placed some slices of smoked sausage under the skin for added moisture and flavor....


I rubbed the birds with butter and sprinkled them with cracked black pepper and kosher salt...


Heated up my drum smoker to a temperature of 300. Added a bit of apple and olive wood...





After the birds had smoked for about 1 1/2 hours, I added some twice baked potatoes....






The smoked potatoes were great. I make them with a bit of butter, onion, garlic and cheese...


Since this was the first day of the year, I had to have my usual black eyed peas. :)
I made a pot of hoppin' john....






The apple/olive smoked cornish game hens with smoked twice baked potatos, hoppin' john, creamy cucumbers and leafy salad....


The smoked sausage under the skin made the game hens nice and moist...
My company didn't complain. I think they were thankful I was the one doing the cooking after staying up so late watching the new year arrive. :)




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

My darling, I can see you have completely igorned my advice and instruction that "Hoppin' John" doesn't have rice in it. It never has had rice in it and it never will have rice in it. You may wish to call it "Hoppin John," but it isn't.

Now, speaking of "Real" Hoppin' John, I made a "mess of" it yesterday. A cauldron full, actually. Best I ever made (with no rice mind you.) I have discovered that I prefer ham shanks to ham hocks in this concoction. I also did something I've never done before...I "BBQ'd" a 25 pound ham. Of course it was fully cooked and smoked as the infidels here in California don't sell "fresh" hams, may God have mercy on their corrupt souls. Also, the Pot Likker was outstanding. I used mustard greens and turnips poured over white cornbread...as if there is any other kind that is fit to digest. Am I right or am I right? ;)

Ken

jeff said...

Oh no, I know you didn't have chicken for new years! you'll be scratching backwards all year now!
did you at least have some green and peas to go with it?

Nate said...

Your posts always make me hungry. Nice picture of the hen relaxing in the brine pool. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Happy 2009!

Cowgirl, you sure have some lucky friends... I mean the food you prepare is definitly not your typical camp food. The hens look great, especially the one that looks like he's in the jacuzzi in the first picture. Another great idea that I will soon be using... Rest assured, I do give you credit when serving up the meal... at least most of the time.

rdp

cowgirl said...

LOL Ken, I'll have to admit, I've never heard of hoppin' john without the rice...but will give it a try. :)

cowgirl said...

Jeff, I had some peas! :)

cowgirl said...

Nate, thank you! Hope you have a wonderful 2009! :)

cowgirl said...

rdp Thank you for the kind words!
I hope the recipes turn out well for you. :)

Glenn said...

Great recipe!

Never thought of using sausage for extra flavor.

Must try it.

cowgirl said...

Thanks Glen!
I use the sausage with turkeys too..it adds a nice flavor.
Hope it works out well for you. :)

Anonymous said...

I have smoked cornish game hens many a time and love them...one is usuaully more than enough for one person to eat.

As far as the "Hoppin' John's", I have never made that but after your post I did some research on the net for recipes. Although there are several varaitions, it nearly ALWAYS has "rice". So to the person that said it was not supposed to have rice....maybe when their momma made it (for the recipe he/she remembers) she did not have rice so made it with out it...

Kind of like the story about a great grandma's recipe for roast where she cut both ends off the roast before cooking...

cowgirl said...

Thank you Anonymous! Your post has brightened my day. :) I'm going to continue making my Hoppin' John with rice. lol
To me Hoppin' John without the rice would be considered a pot of ham and beans. (which I love too)

I have not heard the Great Grandma's roast story, but would love to hear it if you ever get the time. :)

Thanks again for bringing a huge smile to my face! :)