[ad] Grilled Cornish Hens With Sweet and Spicy Marinade #JuicyGrilledCornish

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Cornish hens on the grill with sweet and spicy marinade

Through the summer I grill every meal I can. There’s less mess, and you’re not heating up an already warm kitchen. Plus fresh air and sunshine while you’re cooking? It doesn’t get any better than that. I’ve grilled whole chickens and even turkeys so I was interested to try Tyson® Cornish Hens on the grill. I’ve also been wanting to try out a sweet and spicy marinade. It paired perfectly with the hens.

We had a busy weekend last weekend. It’s county fair season here in Ohio. We have one of the largest county fairs in the midwest in our county. The fair started last Saturday, and my wife said we had to go. We headed out to the fair to walk around and check out the displays, eat a little fair food, and bet on some horse races.

After the fair we stopped by our local Walmart to pick up some Tyson® Cornish Hens & Kikkoman® Orange Sauce, along with the other items I needed to make the grilled Cornish hens on Sunday. My wife is very picky about additives in food, so she was thrilled the Tyson® Cornish Hens are all natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and they contain no added hormones or steroids. She gave them her stamp of approval, which is always a good thing. We found Kikkoman® Orange Sauce in the Asian Foods section, and the Tyson® Cornish Hens in the frozen meats section of the store. Kikkoman’s full line of sauces and marinades aren’t just for Asian cooking, I like to use them to make marinades for grilling season.


When we got home from the store we put the cornish hens in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.

Tyson® Cornish Hens

Sunday was a more laid back day, with yard work and time for grilling! I played around with the orange sauce and a little hot sauce to come up with the perfect sweet and spicy marinade, then fired up the grill.

Grilled Cornish Hens With Sweet and Spicy Marinade

Linette Gerlach
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 Tyson® Cornish Hens
  • 1/4 cup Kikkoman® Orange Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of butter melted
  • 1/4 water for the bottom of the pan


  • Thaw the Cornish hens about 1 day in advance.
  • mix together the orange sauce, honey, hot sauce and melted butter in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
  • Place the hens in a shallow bowl and drizzle the sweet and spicy marinade over the top.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour.
  • Heat 1/2 of the grill to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chickens into a cooking bag and pour any excess marinade in with them.
  • Place the bag in a shallow aluminum pan.
  • Place the pan on the non lit side of the grill and close the lid.
  • Cook for about 1 1/2 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure the hens are thoroughly cooked.

Tip to keep the birds tender, juicy and cooked through without burning: Only light 1/2 of the grill, then place the chickens on the unlit side of the grill so they are only receiving indirect heat, and not over direct flames. Keep the grill closed so the temperature remains steady. I just lifted the lid so I could snap this photo to show you.

Cornish hens on the grill

While the Tyson® Cornish Hens were cooking I kabobed (Is that even a word?) some vegetables and poured a little of the leftover marinade over the top.

Vegetable kabobs with sweet and spicy marinade

I grilled the vegetable kabobs for about 15 to 20 minutes when the hens were done cooking.

sweet and spicy dipping sauce

I also used the Kikkoman® Orange Sauce to make a sweet and spicy dipping sauce for the cornish hens and the kabobs.

Sweet and Spicy Dip
Author: Linette Gerlach
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 1/4 cup Kikkoman® Orange Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (or to taste)
  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and use to dip the chicken and vegetables.

Note: Don’t use leftover marinade for dip if it’s come in contact with the raw hens!

Once the Cornish hens are grilled, let them sit in the bag for about 15 to 20 minutes then open the bag carefully letting any hot steam escape before you try to reach into the bag.

Use a pair of tongs to remove the hens from the bag and transfer them to a plate for serving. Serve whole, or remove the meat from the bones.

When we took the Tyson® Cornish hens out of the bag the meat was juicy, tender, falling off the bone perfection. The marinade gave it a hint of citrus and a tiny bit of a kick. The dipping sauce gave everything even more of a citrusy kick. The whole meal got thumbs up from the family.

Cornish hens on the grill with sweet and spicy marinade recipe and dip

Have you ever tried grilling Tyson® Cornish Hens? Looking for more delicious ways to grill them up and more recipes using Kikkoman® Sauces? Check out their websites!

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