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St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for game hens. They’re like a small chicken and everyone gets their own. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we made these gals with a glaze of Irish whiskey combined with the sweet taste of orange marmalade: St. Paddy’s Drunken Hens. Ken spatchcocked them and we served them with our Irish Twice Baked Potatoes and pickled carrots. The saints definitely would have gone marching in for this feast.

Patti and I have set one night a week just for us. It’s our date night. We usually put something special on our Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker but sometimes we cook inside. We always eat outside on our patio where it is very comfortable with a rainforest theme.  Wood pellet patio heater, little lights, candles, lanterns and surround sound. We enjoy a little wine, or strawberry margaritas using frozen strawberries for ice, good food, music and sometimes a dance or two…

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes at 350 Degrees (177c)
Grill: Green Mountain Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker
Pellets: Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Pellets Mountain Maple

Link for “How to Spatchcock” Video;

Link for Irish Twice Baked Potatoes;

Ingredients: St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen

  • 2 2 ¼ lb. Rock Cornish Game Hens
  • Green Mountain Grills Poultry Seasoning Blend, to taste
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
Our Ingredients

Cooking Directions: St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen

Spatchcock your hens (Spatchcock is just cutting out the back bone, see video) Generously season your spatchcocked game hens on both sides. Place skin side down on your hot grill grates and sear them. Giving them a quarter turn around 10 minutes and let them go for another 10 minutes and flip them. We are going more for internal temperature here than cooking time. After 10 minutes sauce them and continue grilling them until your reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees (74c). U.S.D.A. safe is 165 degrees (74c) but I like chicken better when it’s cooked a little more, for these I did 175 degrees (80c). The meat just seems to flake apart nicely.

Keep in mind that the meat will continue cooking for another 5 to 10 degrees after you pull it off the grill. I use a Maverick ProTemp Instant Read Thermometer for checking meat temps.

Glaze: In a small cast iron sauce pot combine remaining ingredients and simmer on low boil for 5 minutes.

Note: I get a lot of questions about the kind of pellets you can use with a recipe. Keep in mind that a recipe is just an outline. Some you need to follow closely like when you are making bread, but most you can do anything you can dream, our favorite way to cook. Feel free to mix and match the pellets until you find a combination you really like. Also you are only smoking at temps less than 250 degrees (122c), anything higher is cooking and there will not be much if any smoke so it does not matter what kind of pellet you are using.

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
Spatchcock Your Hens


St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
Sear on the Grill Grates


St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
Brush with your Glaze

Cooking In the Oven:

We have been getting requests for recipe conversions for the oven. I tell folks all the time that cooking on a Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker is just as easy as cooking in your oven. Just about anyone can do it and do it well. Think about it. You set your control knob to the temp you want, put your meat in and leave it for a set time. It is the same thing, time and temperature is what it is all about. The Green Mountain grill is just like your oven except it uses wood pellets and has wheels.

I do 40 minutes here at 350 (174c).

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
A Wood Pellet Grill Recipe

St. Paddy’s Drunken Hen
Let’s Eat!!!

About our Recipes

We do our recipes on our patio where we have a lineup of grills, including Green Mountain, Sawtooth, Louisiana, Royall, Memphis, Traeger pellet grills, Char Griller side box smoker, Saber, Charmglow, Char-Broil, The Big Easy, Pacific Living Outdoor Oven, Lodge Sportsman’s, Brinkman and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles are healthy and low fat and will fit pelletheads, gas, natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ.

The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can do our recipes on any grill, even some of them in the oven or crock pot, but, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. But sometimes it does rain.

Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste. Take it and run with it….

Live your Passion and Do What You Love,
Ken & Patti
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Our Thanks To:

Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce
Maverick Industries, Inc. 1-800-526-0954 
Green Mountain Grills LLC 1 800 603 3398 Email:
Grill Grates

Briggs True Texas Sauces & Seasoning
Bull Rack System EarthWorks Supply 503-678-7744
Don Godke’s Downdraft
Butcher BBQ
Maverick ProTemp Instant Read Thermometer (Our Store)
Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Chef of the Future 973 780 5895
Meat Rake (360)-524-2087 Email:
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