Spatchcock means to flatten the bird. Dark meat requires a little more cook time than white, so the spatchcock method allows for even cooking and juicier results.

Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2

Game Hens:

  • 2 Red Oak Grilling Planks
  • 2 Game Hens (or small chickens)
  • 2 Tbsp. Harissa Paste
  • 1 Lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

Couscous Salad:

  • 2 cups Couscous
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Mint, chopped
  • ½ Tbsp. Cumin, ground
  • 1 small Garlic Clove, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Chef's Tip

The couscous can be made ahead of time and should be served chilled.

Couscous Salad:

  1. Preheat the grill or oven to 450°F.
  2. Place the bell pepper on the grill and char on all sides until the skin is blackened all over. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine 2 cups of water with the tomato paste, bring to a boil.
  4. Place the couscous in a mixing bowl and add ½ cup of the hot liquid, fluff with a fork and cover tightly. Repeat every 5 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. This method allows the couscous to gently steam and prevents it from becoming gummy.
  5. Remove the skin and seeds from the charred pepper and dice.
  6. Add all other ingredients, gently combine, cover and refrigerate.

Game Hens:

  1. To spatchcock the game hens, use a pair of kitchen shears or sharp knife to remove the spine.
  2. Use the palm of your hands to gently flatten the bird.
  3. Use a pairing knife to remove the wishbone and rib bones.
  4. Combine the harissa, lemon, garlic and olive oil. Spread evenly all over the birds and set aside to marinate. This can be done in advance.
  5. Soak the grilling planks in warm water for 15 minutes.
  6. Place a game hen on each plank, and set on the grill or in oven.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serve the game hens with the couscous salad.

*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Red Oak Grilling Plank