Cornish Hens with Asian Citrus Baste

4 cornish hens
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
3 green onions minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 fresh large lemon juiced
1 fresh large lime juiced
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Season hens with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Split each hen in half. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix garlic, onions, brown sugar, cilantro, 1 teaspoon pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Reserve 1 cup for basting.

Pour the remainder over hens and marinate for 6 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Load the wood tray with apple wood chips and preheat the smoker to 225° F. Place hens in the smoker and smoke for 1 ½ hours to 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the hens is 165° F. Using the cup of marinade, baste hens several times during smoking.

I am not a fan of cilantro either as I have tried it fresh in salads. But I always do a recipe with the exact ingredients the first time. Only exception is I cut back on hot sauce and garlic, and if it calls for fresh cilantro I use dried. I like parsley as well in marinades or jambalaya. But I had a pleasure surprise in that the cilantro does not have the yucky taste in this recipe.

I have not tried it but I suspect this would be good done in the oven or on the grill.