• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Cornish hens, about1/2kg each, wing tips removed


  • Place the softened butter in a small bowl. Roughly chop the garlic, and then sprinkle the salt on top. Using both the sharp edge and the flat side of the knife blade, crush the garlic and salt together to create a paste. Add the paste to the bowl along with the remaining butter ingredients and mix well.
  • Remove the giblets from the hens and discard. Working from the cavity end of each hen, run your fingers between the skin and flesh of the breasts and legs to loosen the skin without tearing. Push half of the butter mixture under the skin and massage from the outside to spread the butter mixture evenly over the breasts and legs. Spread the remaining butter over the entire surface of the hens.
  • Truss the hens with twine. Grill over indirect high heat (230°C to 280°C) until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone, 45 to 55 minutes. Keep the lid closed as often as possible during grilling. Remove from the grill and loosely cover with foil. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.


Prep time: 35 minutes
Grilling time: 45 to 55 minutes
Serves: 4

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