Spinning to Thanksgiving: Rotisserie Cornish Hens & a Turkey

“Cook happy”, has been my tagline since I completed culinary school in 2005. It goes without saying that I am thankful every time I am able to prepare food for my family and friends. I also think they are thankful that I make the food. But being able to work with a company which allows you to work in an atmosphere and with equipment that makes cooking so pleasurable is something to be thankful for!

Spinning to Thanksgiving: Rotisserie Cornish Hens & a Turkey

I Am Thankful for…
Electric Grills

This Thanksgiving, I can truly say I am thankful to ElectriChef and all that comes with being their National Executive Chef. The ElectriChef team surrounding me is fantastic, the quality of the equipment is outstanding, and the opportunity to grill, create recipes, and write blogs makes this Chef very “HAPPY & THANKFUL!”

Why should you be thankful for ElectriChef Electric Grills?

We all have lots of things to be thankful for, but I have decided to give you examples of why, if you own an ElectriChef Grill, you should be thankful this Holiday Season. The biggest complaint about Thanksgiving is the enormous pressure placed on the hostess to make dinner, especially the turkey.

 

How Many Reasons Are There To Be Thankful For An Electric Grill?
One, two,...skip a few….I lost count

This year it gives me great pleasure to tell you to use your electric grill and take the stress out of Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few stress relieving Thanksgiving cooking/grilling ideas:

  • Use your ElectriChef grill to rotisserie your Turkey.
         Stress release: Free up valuable oven space.
  • Rotisserie Cornish Hens and everyone will have breast meat, a thigh, a leg and a wing.
         Stress release: No fighting over parts of the turkey on the platter.
  • Add extra pieces of turkey (legs, wings, thighs, and breast) to the rotisserie.
         Stress release: Again less fighting over who gets what!
  • Room in the oven for a ham or salmon filet for you non turkey eaters.
         Stress release: Choices for all.
  • Because of the amazing programmable temperature on your ElectriChef Grill, you can change and monitor the exact doneness of your turkey without opening and closing your oven.
         Stress release: Perfect turkey every time!
  • Place your side dishes (on grill grates or flavor tray) and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
         Stress release: No more being stuck in the kitchen all day.
  • Let your husband (or designated grill master) do the turkey and you relax and have a glass of wine.
         Stress release: A relaxing Thanksgiving for all, including the hostess.
  • No exploding fried turkeys.
         Stress release: No painful trips to the ER.
  • No disposing of 8-10 gallons of expensive peanut oil after frying a turkey.
         Stress release: More time and money in the Thanksgiving budget for wine.

 

Ok, so some of my reasons to grill are a little comical; but really, isn’t Thanksgiving supposed to be fun?

I think it’s the best holiday! I love spending more time with family and giving thanks. So if you want to be stress free and happy this Thanksgiving, take this chef’s advice and use your ElectriChef rotisserie or grill. Here’s two recipes for how to rotisserie cornish hens and a turkey on the grill!

Spinning to Thanksgiving: Rotisserie Cornish Hens & a Turkey

GRILLED ROTISSERIE TURKEY WITH GARLIC & BASIL

Makes: 10 servings
Number of Ingredients: 10 (including French Beans and Root Vegetable Medley)
Recipe by: Chef Paulette Bilsky

INGREDIENTS

  • 10-12 pounds fresh turkey
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, skin removed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 pounds French beans, cleaned
  • 2 purple carrots, washed and sliced on a bias
  • 1 butternut squash cut in ½ inch squares
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch rounds

METHOD

  • Place basil and garlic in a small food processor and blend with ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  • Rinse and pat dry turkey according to directions on turkey, be sure to remove any plastic or packaging containing neck, etc. Set aside until it is room temperature.
  • Rub entire turkey with basil mixture and sprinkle half of the poultry seasoning on all sides of the turkey, season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the grill grates from the grill; turn on your ElectriChef Grill to 500°F. Set up rotisserie motor and plug it in.

 

Place Turkey on The Rotisserie Spit Using the Instructions Below:
  • Place one spit fork on the rotisserie shaft.
  • Push the rotisserie shaft through the turkey between the legs, exiting at the neck; center the turkey on the spit.
  • Slide the spit fork already on the spit into the turkey and tighten the screw. Again checking the turkey is centered, slide the second spit fork tines into the other end of the turkey tighten the screws to firmly secure the turkey.
  • Set the rotisserie shaft in place in the rotisserie motor.
  • Loosen the small circular piece closest to the handle and secure it inside the grill to hold spit firmly in the motor slot. The turkey should freely rotate when the motor turns the spit. If the flavor tray touches the turkey, you can remove the tray.
  • Turn the motor on and watch that the turkey has no obstructions and is secure on the spit.
  • The drippings from the turkey will want to be reserved, be sure to line your drip trays with clean foil to use for sauce or gravy.

 

  • Close the grill cover and allow turkey to grill for 25 minutes on 500°F.

  • After 25 minutes, turn the temperature down to 375°F and continue to grill for another 60 minutes checking occasionally. 
  • Place French beans and next three ingredients on a sheet pan that fits the grill, toss with remaining olive oil and season with remaining poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Open grill and check temperature using a thermometer in the thigh area, temperature should read about 135°F. The final cooking time is 170°F which will take another 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your turkey.
NOTE: The grilling time is usually 11 minutes per pound unstuffed. I suggest you take a piece of paper and write down the weight of the turkey and the time you put it on the grill. Remember the turkey should be room temperature when you place it on the spit, if not the cooking time will increase!
  • Place the tray of vegetables under the turkey for the last 40-50 minutes of grilling. The drippings from the turkey will enhance their flavor.
  • Check the temperature of the turkey again near the thigh or thickest part of the turkey for an internal temperature of 170°F, once that temperature is reached, turn off the grill and remove vegetables and the spit from grill.
  • Place turkey on a large cutting board, remove the spit fork and carefully slide the turkey off the spit. Let turkey rest for 10 minutes while you finish the rest of the sides.
  • Garnish a large platter with fresh basil and place turkey on platter for presentation and carving.Happy Thanksgiving!

Spinning to Thanksgiving: Rotisserie Cornish Hens & a Turkey

GRILLED ROTISSERIE CORNISH HENS

Makes:2 servings of one hen or 4 serving with half a hen
Number of Ingredients: 7
Recipe by: Chef Paulette Bilsky

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 -1 ¼ pound Cornish hens
  • 8 fresh strawberries, washed and tops removed
  • 2 fresh oranges juiced, with 4 rind halves reserved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Trussing string, about 3-4 feet

METHOD

  • Rinse and pat dry Cornish hens according to directions on package, be sure to remove any plastic or packaging containing neck, etc. Set aside until they are room temperature.
  • Place hens on a cutting board and place ½ of the orange rind in breast cavity followed by half of the strawberries, place second ½ of orange rind into the breast cavity with rind out to fill cavity.

Spinning to Thanksgiving: Rotisserie Cornish Hens & a Turkey

  • Repeat with second hen.
  • Using trussing string, tie the hen’s legs together and secure wings.
  • Mix ½ of the orange juice and the olive oil and rub all over both hens.
  • Sprinkle poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to each hen.
  • Remove the grill grates from the grill; turn on your ElectriChef Grill to 500°F. Set up rotisserie motor and plug it in.
  • Using the method above secure the hens on the spit.

NOTE: Place the first hen in spit so the wings and rear of the hen are secured by the fork tines. Place the second hen in reverse, centering both and then securing both with the second fork tine. Any excess twine should be cut away to prevent burning.

  • Leave hens on spit with grill lid closed, approximately 20-25 minutes at 500°F. After checking for internal temperature, reduce the temperature of the grill to 375°F for an additional 10 minutes or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F or the thigh reaches 170°F to 180°F.
  • If you have any potatoes or vegetables you would like to serve with your Cornish hens, place them in metal containers under the hens while on the rotisserie to enhance their flavor.Once proper internal temperatures are reached, carefully remove hens from the spit, remove the orange rind and strawberries from the breast cavity and serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use the remaining orange juice and any extra strawberries and make a sauce by placing the orange juice and strawberries in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Let liquid mixture cook the strawberries and reduce by ¼, and serve sauce over hens.

What's Next? Looking for another rotisserie recipe to feed several guests? Try this delicious Mediterranean Rotisserie Grilled Leg of Lamb!

Grilling Recipes

Chef Paulette

Written by Chef Paulette

As ElectriChef's Corporate Executive Chef, Chef Paulette specializes in recipe modification & locally sourced meals, proving to be both "nutritious & delicious". She is passionate about the versatility and superior grilling power of Electri-Chef. Explore her grilling recipes throughout the blog

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Chef Paulette Bilsky, Corporate Executive Chef

Chef Paulette specializes in recipe modification & locally sourced meals, proving to be both "nutritious & delicious". She is passionate about the versatility and superior grilling power of Electri-Chef. Explore her grilling recipes throughout the blog.

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