Brickyard Barbecued Game Hens Recipe

Touch Hearts to Rate
1 vote | 4430 views

I found this fantastic grilled game hen recipe in Mario Batali's "Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style" cookbook published in 2006.

These game hens are grilled under a foil wrapped brick Tuscan style or Pollo al Mattone. Then the herb pesto rub makes them tastier, so try to let the birds marinate overnight before cooking.

"As for "hot bricks," the August race at the Brickyard at Indy is exceptionally hot, perhaps the hottest of the year -- hence, hot bricks."

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $1.58 view details
  • Miscellaneous Grilling Tools:
  • 4 House Bricks
  • 4 Sheets Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
  • For Chicken:
  • 4 Whole Rock Cornish Hens, Split (See Below) Or
  • (2) 3 - 3 1/2 Lb. Whole Chickens, Split (See Below)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rub:
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary, Crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garnish:
  • 2 Whole Ripe Lemons, Cut Into Quarters (Tip)
  • 2 - 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, Lightly Grilled Only Until Warm


The night before cooking, in a medium boil, mix the ingredients for the rub together. Place the birds skin-side down on a clean work surface and rub the inside of each with 2 tablespoons of the rub mix. Turn the birds skin-side up and do the same thing.
Place the rubbed birds in a large bowl or container, seal and keep cold in a refrigerator or ice-filled cooler overnight or up to 2 days.
When you are ready to cook the birds, prepare enough coals for a medium-hot fire. Arrange the coals so one side of the grill gets hot and the other side medium. If using a gas grill, set one side to hot and the other to medium.
Heat the foil-wrapped bricks on the hot side of grill for 10 minutes.
While the bricks are heating, remove the birds from the container and brush them all over with olive oil.
Place the birds skin-side down on the hot side of the grill and place a heated brick on top of each bird. Do not move the birds for a full 8 minutes, unless a flame-up occurs. (If this happens, cover the grill briefly to smother.)
Turn the birds skin-side up and cook for 10 minutes more under the heated brick over the hot side of the grill, then move them to the medium side and cook 10 minutes more.
Turn the birds skin-side down, place back on the hot side under brick and cook 5 minutes. Turn them skin-side up and cook 5 minutes more.
The birds are done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170°F. Remove the birds to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
Garnish with lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs; serve.
To Split Chicken:
Lay it on a cutting board breast-side up with the legs pointing toward you.
Using a large knife, cut along each side of the backbone, cutting from the front to rear. Remove the backbone, then flip the chicken over so it is skin-side down.
Now you can split the chicken in half by cutting through the breast bone/cartilage.
After splitting the chickens, be sure to thoroughly clean the work surface with soap and hot water.
Cook's Tip:
Grill lemon wedges 2 - 5 minutes until light golden brown for extra flair.
How good does this recipe look to you?
Touch Hearts to Rate

Add Recipe to

Add the recipe to which day?
« Today - Apr 08 »
Today - Apr 08
April 9 - 15
April 16 - 22
April 23 - 29
Please select a day
or Cancel
Loading... Adding to Planner

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 70g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 392  
Calories from Fat 365 93%
Total Fat 41.34g 52%
Saturated Fat 5.94g 24%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1168mg 49%
Potassium 152mg 4%
Total Carbs 8.01g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3.5g 12%
Sugars 0.46g 0%
Protein 1.11g 2%


Leave a review or comment