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
- 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
- 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
The couscous can be made ahead of time and should be served chilled.
- Preheat the grill or oven to 450°F.
- Place the bell pepper on the grill and char on all sides until the skin is blackened all over. Set aside to cool.
- Combine 2 cups of water with the tomato paste, bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Remove the skin and seeds from the charred pepper and dice.
- Add all other ingredients, gently combine, cover and refrigerate.
- To spatchcock the game hens, use a pair of kitchen shears or sharp knife to remove the spine.
- Use the palm of your hands to gently flatten the bird.
- Use a pairing knife to remove the wishbone and rib bones.
- 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.
- Soak the grilling planks in warm water for 15 minutes.
- Place a game hen on each plank, and set on the grill or in oven.
- Cook for 20 minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Serve the game hens with the couscous salad.
*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.