Chipotle-Lime Grilled Cornish Hens

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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4 cornish game hens
1 Tbsp. cumin, crushed
2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
4 tsp. lime peel, grated
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, with 1 tsp. adobo sauce


Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Cook for 1 minute, then add the oregano and cook an additional 30 seconds or until the cumin is lightly toasted. Add 1 tsp. of oil and garlic, then cook for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.

Blend the cumin mixture and the remaining ingredients, except the hens, in a small bowl.

Rinse the hens and pat them dry, then lightly salt and pepper the insides of the hens. Secure the wings to the hens and tie the legs together with a piece of string, if desired. Place the marinade in a large resealable plastic bag and add the hens. Seal the bag and turn it to coat the hens evenly with marinade. Refrigerate the hens for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Heat a charcoal grill and arrange the hot coals around the outer edge of the grill. Place a disposable pan in the open space and place the food over the open area, then close the lid and heat to medium.

Remove the hens from the marinade and place them over the indirect heat on the , making sure the hens do not touch each other. Grill the hens, covered, for 50-60 minutes or until done (the internal temperature should be 180F). Let the hens stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Tyson Foods.