What to serve with cornish game hens?? In my house, figuring out the side dish can almost be as daunting as the time-old question What’s for dinner? Want a pro tip? Make it a rule one person picks the main dish the other person comes up with the side dishes!
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I am all about cooking as much as possible outside; typically, the old lady loves that idea. Even when smoking game hens, I’ve been known to fire up the gas grill to the Blackstone griddle to cook a side dish alongside our hens. Summertime means more outdoor grilling time, though I grill year-round personally.
Plus, smoked cornish game hens recipes can seem complicated, but they aren’t, and they make for unique presentations for a special occasion dinner that takes less than a couple of hours to put together.
What is a Cornish Game Hen?
A Cornish game hen is a particular variety of boiler chicken; it is served young and immature. How big are cornish game hens? Typically they are less than 2 pounds in weight, but they are not game birds. Cornish game hen is a cross between a White Plymouth Rock Chickens and a Cornish hen. They are like miniature chickens, perfect for single servings.
For being little birds, they have tender meat that is so flavorful when cooked. The cooking time is less than for larger poultry like a whole chicken or turkey. They can be cooked by smoking, grilling, roasting, or in the crockpot. Whichever cooking process will win when you serve golden brown hens.
Pat dry with a paper towel, and dry rubs work amazingly or with a good brine. Just like regular chicken, the internal temperature of the game hen must reach 165 degrees using a meat thermometer before serving.
Smoked Cornish Hens Recipes:
These are some of my favorites to smoke. The flavor is always excellent, and they are easy to change up each time you make them. These can be made on a pellet smoker or any smoker.
- Sweet And Spicy Cornish Game Hens
- Mediterranean Smoked Cornish Game Hens
- Cold Smoked Cornish Game Hens
- Smoked Cornish Game Hens With Brine And Dry Rub
- Coca-Cola Smoked Cornish Game Hens
- Smoked Cornish Game Hens With Brine
How to store leftover Cornish game hens
Store the leftover cornish game hens in an air-tight container the fridge for up to five days. You can store them on the bone or debone them. The smoked cornish game hens can also be frozen in an air-tight container or bag for up to three months.
Storing leftovers properly requires the right tools! My preferred storage method is if the leftovers can be sealed in a food saver. If not, then an air-tight container or Ziploc bag for the fridge is the way I go. The air-tight container and a freezer Ziploc bag are the next best bet for freezing the leftovers. I also use a food scale to measure portions into serving sizes.
Grilled Vegetables and side dishes
Most grilled dishes require minimal effort and prep, so it is a total win when you can use them to assemble a complete meal.
Grilled Zucchini–Rub with olive oil and season with your favorite spice blend. Grilled zucchini is a great way to add flavor to your meal while keeping it light and nutritious.
Blackstone Fried Rice-How To Make Hibachi Fried Rice on a Blackstone Griddle. This is easy to do with any meat and choice of veggies and tastes just as good as a Japanese Steakhouse.
How To Grill Corn On The Cob-The possibilities are endless with how you can grill corn! My favorite way is foil and garlic salt!
Portabella Mushrooms– Amazing side dish to cook alongside anything on the grill; use mozzarella and feta cheese to make this dish!
Smoked Side Dishes for cornish hens
Now i love these can be smoked right along side smoked cornish game hens
Smoked Baked Potatoes-Throw baking potatoes on the smoker to make an easy smoked, baked potato! These are tasty and don’t take long to make on the smoker; you don’t heat up the house. Use a little bit of olive oil and garlic season to flavor them.
Smoked Loaded Baked Beans– This is the ultimate side dish or dish to take to a tailgating party. Allow this to slow smoke on your smoke in a cast iron dutch oven. Add in a bit more bacon grease for more flavor.
Smoked Deviled Eggs– Smoke hard-boiled eggs to add a smoky twist to any dinner! These are easy to make and to serve as well!
Smoked Loaded Cheesy Potatoes– This is one of the best side dishes to serve with red meats. Smoked Brisket is one of my favorites to do with this; just like a loaded baked potato, it has sour cream!
Side Dishes with No Cooking
Not having to cook in the summer is a plus! I love that some side dishes can be thrown together without cooking.
Tomato Caprese–Perfect to make up for dinner get-togethers! The flavor combination makes for a tasty fresh appetizer to enjoy
Fruit Salad-This fresh fruit salad is sure to be a hit with everyone! Use the summer’s fresh fruit and whipped topping to make a dish perfect for any meal!
Watermelon Salad-This This Watermelon Salad With Feta Recipe is perfect to take to BBQs or potlucks! Add in some balsamic vinegar, mint, and feta cheese for fantastic flavor!
Side Dishes From The Kitchen
Oven roasting a favorite vegetable usually is one of my go-to side dishes. But in the summer I like to pair up Pasta or potato salad with the foods we smoke.
Smoked Potato Salad– Use smoked, baked potatoes to make this delicious twist on classic potato salad. While it isn’t fully cooked in the smoker, it is amazing with smoked potatoes. Plus, you can make it the night before, and it is one favorite classic side dishes.
Smoked Macaroni Salad -The smoke flavor of the eggs, onions, and celery adds to the whole dish! Perfect side dish for any bbq or backyard picnic get-together.
Rainbow Orzo Salad– Bright and colorful salad perfect for warmer weather. It’s crunchy, light, and fresh. This easy pasta salad is the perfect side dish or light lunch.
Crockpot Quinoa-Take the guesswork out of cooking quinoa on this on the stovetop and make it in the crockpot with broth!
Air Fryer Vegetables– Use the air fryer to make side dishes without heating the whole house! Air Fryer Bacon Aspagargus is one of my house’s favorites! You can also make Brussels sprouts in the air fryer as well.
Mixed Green Salads