Grilled Cornish Hens with Dijon Tapenade; more tourist stuff

I realize that I recently did a grilled Cornish hen recipe – but this is my last grilling recipe of the season (I think) and I wanted to get it posted before everyone packs their grills away for winter.

Of course, you could always do it in the oven, but it really is a summer taste….

We’ve had glorious weather this past week but rumor (and the Meteo) tell me it’s coming to a screeching halt tomorrow.

I have faith that it will improve again… Meanwhile I can get some sadly neglected indoor chores done.

I refuse to work inside on lovely fall days. Winter is just too close to miss any sunshine.

Again – one hen is probably enough for 2…. But we like the leftovers.

Grilled Cornish Hens with Dijon Tapenade

Total time: 60 minutes


  • 2 Cornish hens 
  • 2 tsp black olive tapenade
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika

Grilled Cornish Hens


  • Slip your finger under the skin on the breast and slowly loosen the skin as far as you can reach on either side of the breast bone.
  • In a small dish mix tapenade and mustard.
  • Using a small spoon or your fingers, put as much under the skin as you can easily manage. Any leftover just put into the cavity.
  • Tie legs together with kitchen string and fold wing tips under back (at first joint) – keeps them from flapping. 
  • Rub birds with 1 tbs olive oil.
  • Basting sauce: Whisk together paprika, lemon juice and 2 tbs olive oil.
  • Cook hens on barbecue grill over indirect heat, covered, for 45 – 60 minutes or until done. Chicken is done at 160 F (70C) on your meat thermometer and/or the juices run clear when pierced with knife.
  • Baste hens several times during the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  • Or they can be baked in a shallow roasting pan in a 400F oven for the same amount of time – until done.
  • When done, remove from heat, cut string and serve – don’t forget finger bowls (it’s messy) and bone bowls (to keep your plates tidy).
  • Serve whole or cut each bird in half.

Print Recipe

And that concludes the grilling portion of our program for 2017.


More tourist photos….

The mairie – or town hall. The flowers were still gorgeous!

This was on the main square where we had lunch.

Another narrow street.

One does have to be careful driving in these old towns. I once went down an unknown street like this in Andorra and had to wait for a resident to come by and open his garage so I could turn around.

Sometimes, one wanders into unexpected treasures:

Looks almost like you could walk through the arches, doesn’t it?

Last update on September 29, 2017

4 thoughts on “Grilled Cornish Hens with Dijon Tapenade; more tourist stuff”

  1. We’re lucky that we can grill all year long here in SoCal. This unique savory recipe makes me want to run out and get some cornish hens. Do you have a recipe for the tapenade or can it be purchased ready made?

    • Gloria, I actually don’t mind the switch – we grill every day for half the year then not at all for the other half. I suppose if it were available all year we we would be more flexible lol. I use purchased tapenade… easier and it’s chopped more finely than I would do.

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