Don’t let Cornish hen intimidate you, splitting the hens in half (or spatchcocking) and opening them up like a book helps the chicken cook quickly and evenly. Spatchcocking is a great skill to practice on a small manageable bird and then move up to chicken and eventually even turkey! When combined with the salsa verde, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Spatchcocked Cornish Hen with Salsa Verde


3 Cornish hens

3 Tbs (45 mL) olive oil

To taste salt and pepper

Salsa verde:

1 parsley bunch, stems cut off

½ bulb of garlic

½ tsp chili flakes

3 anchovy fillets

½ cup capers

Zest of one lemon

1 cup (240 mL) cold-pressed canola oil


  1. To make salsa verde, put dry ingredients and ½ cup (60 mL) of canola oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until ingredients are finely chopped. Add remaining ½ cup (60 mL) canola oil and blend until thoroughly combined.
  2. Lay Cornish hen breast side up on a cutting board. Remove any offal from inside. Insert knife into cavity, and cut the bottom of the hen along either side of the backbone all the way from neck to tail.
  3. Flip hen over, and press down firmly on the breast bone to flatten. Remove the wishbone and rib cage with a knife. Slice down center of the hen to divide into two equal portions (each portion includes a breast, thigh, and drumstick).
  4. Turn your grill on low heat. Rub hen with olive oil, and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  5. Place hen skin side down on grill, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown.
  6. Flip hen over and continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes. Once the internal temperature reaches 165º F and the juices run clear, it’s fully cooked.
  7. Slather the skin with a generous portion of salsa verde and serve.

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