Grilled Cornish Hens with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

  • serves 4
Christine Cushing
Christine Cushing

This is a very cool way to use blueberries. Frozen blueberries will work fine - you just might have to reduce the sauce a little longer.

8 Ratings
Directions for: Grilled Cornish Hens with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce


Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

2 Tbsp vegetable oil (30 ml)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp minced fresh ginger (5 ml)

2 cup wild blueberries, lightly mashed (500 ml)

½ cup cider vinegar (125 ml)

½ cup honey (125 ml)

1 Tbsp molasses (15 ml)

1 Tbsp ketchup (15 ml)

1 tsp paprika (5 ml)

coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

½ tsp ground cinnamon (2 ml)

½ tsp Dijon mustard (2 ml)

¼ tsp ground nutmeg (1 ml)

¼ tsp celery seed (1 ml)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (1 ml)

⅒ tsp ground cloves (0.5 ml)

2 Tbsp brown sugar (30 ml)

Grilled Cornish Hens

Two 1 ½-pound Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry (two 672 g)

Vegetable oil, for lightly brushing the Cornish hens

Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the blueberries and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the cider vinegar, honey, molasses, ketchup, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, celery seed, cayenne pepper, cloves and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. Puree the mixture with hand blender or stand blender. Strain the sauce back into a clean saucepan. Bring sauce back up to a simmer and cook a few minutes more. Let cool completely. Makes about 1 cup.

Grilled Cornish Hens

1. Preheat the barbecue or grill to low.

2. With kitchen shears, cut through the flesh and bone along both sides of the backbone. Cut from the tail end and completely remove the backbone. Open up the bird and place it on a cutting board, skin-side up. By pressing hard on the breastbone, flatten it and crush it. Brush lightly with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place the hens bone side down on the grill. Cover the barbecue and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the hens over and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more or until golden. Start brushing the hens with blueberry barbecue sauce. Turn the hens once more. Continue cooking and brushing with barbecue sauce for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Let rest 5 minutes and serve. If there is extra sauce, bring back up to a boil and serve with the grilled Cornish hens.

See more: Grill, Saute, Barbeque, Dinner, North American, Poultry, Main, Berries, BBQ


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