Piri Piri Cornish Hen

Piri Piri Cornish Hen

Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Portuguese
Keyword: cornish hen, marination, piri piri
Servings: 4


  • 2 Cornish hens


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, zest and juiced
  • 15 ml Worcestershire
  • 15 ml olive oil

Piri Piri

  • 5 red chilis
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 15 ml brown sugar
  • 45 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 lemons, zest and juiced
  • 5 ml smoked paprika
  • 75 ml olive oil to taste

Vegetable Salad

  • 3 red peppers
  • 3 red onions (sliced 1cm lengthwise)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 portobello mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 loaf rusty bread
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste


  • Debone the fresh Cornish hen by cutting it for the spine, remove the rib bones, and wishbone.
  • Prepare the Cornish Hen marination by crushing garlic and put it large zip lock bag, add lemon juice and zest, worchestershire, and olive oil.
  • Add the Cornish Hen and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  • For the piri-piri, in a skillet chard the chilies and the garlic cloves (making sure the garlic has the skin on)
  • Combine all the remaining piri-piri ingredient’s in a blender, add the roasted garlic and chilies with both skins removed.
  • Blend all the ingredients and set aside in a mason jar until needed.
  • Clean all the vegetables and sliced the crusty bread.
  • Marinate the vegetables with two sliced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Grill the vegetables until nice and chard.
  • Grill the bread slices and rubbed the remaining garlic cove just like making a bruschetta. Cut the slices in large dice and add them to the grilled vegetables.
  • Season the bread and chard vegetable salad with salt pepper, olive oil and fresh leaves of basil and keep it warm.
  • Remove the Cornish Hen from marination and set on a very hot grill.
  • Seared the Cornish Hen on both sides and continue to cook on indirect heat on the barbeque.
  • When Cornish Hen is almost ready start basting the last 10 minutes with the piri-piri sauce and allow the bird to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the Cornish Hen from the grill, let it rest for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Serve the Hen on top of the warm vegetable salad and drizzle the piri-piri sauce.
  • Buon Appetit.



Chef Notes: Piri Piri is one of our favorites marinating at home. You can use to marinate vegetables to serve with fish but also phenomenal to add to mayonnaise or a vinaigrette for a salad.  
Juice Pairing: Mint of Cucumber Juice
Le Creuset Iron Skillet 
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