• Preparation
    20 min
  • Cook Time
    1 hour
  • Serves
  • Difficulty

Behind the Recipe

"Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket"

Or so the saying goes. But if there was ever a poultry recipe to go all-in on, Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hens is it.

Despite the name, the Cornish game hen is not actually a game bird. And despite it traditionally being baked, it tastes oh-so much better fresh off your Neevo Smart Grill.

The Cornish game hen is a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chicken breed, served young and often weighing no more than two pounds. With dinner parties shrinking in size over the last few years, it has become the perfectly succulent bird suitable for a single serving.

Beyond being a smaller bird, it’s also exceptionally tender. And by spatchcocking the hen (bonus points for tracking time and temperature with your Neevo Smart Grill), you’re guaranteed to evenly cook each piece of meat, ensuring each bite is as tender and juicy as the last. 

Fill up your grill with delicious aromas – and your family with this cozy meal! Read on for the full recipe for Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hens. 



  • 2 - 2 ½ lbs. cornish hens (giblets removed)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 zested lemon 
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. minced fresh sage
  • ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves


  1. Remove the giblets from the Cornish hens and place the hens on a cutting board, breast side down. 
  2. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut down each side of the backbone, starting from the neck and cutting down to the tail. Remove the backbone, pull open the hen, flip it over, and lay it flat. 
  3. Optional: There should be some loose skin near the bottom of the breast by the legs. Cut a small slit on each slice of fat and put the legs through the hole. This can help hold the legs in place.
  4. Season both sides of the bird with kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Combine and mix together the butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, sage, and thyme in a small bowl.
  6. Use your finger to loosen the skin of the hens from the breasts and stuff the lemon herb butter under the skin directly on top of the breast. Stuff each chicken with equal parts butter and make sure to leave at least 1 tbsp. of butter in the bowl.
  7. Use the remaining tbsp. of butter to rub over the top of each hen.

Cooking Instructions

  1. 1

    Preheat your Neevo Smart Grill to 375°F.

  2. 2

    Place the hens directly on the grill and insert your meat probes into the thickest part of each hen’s thigh.

  3. 3

    Cook until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Pro tip: the hen is fully cooked when you wiggle the wing or leg and it easily jiggles.

  4. 4

    Let the hen rest for at least 5 minutes. Plate and enjoy!

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