Smoked Apple Thyme Game Hens
|Cornish game hens||4|
|Chopped thyme/2 teaspoons dried leaf thyme||2 Tablespoon|
|Ground pepper||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Apple jelly||3 Tablespoon|
|Dry white wine||3 Tablespoon|
1. Soak wood chips in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a home smoker according to manufacturer's directions. Or prepare a medium indirect charcoal fire in a covered grill by pushing hot coals to one side of grill so that hens can be placed on grill away from direct heat. Just before cooking, toss about one-third of the chips onto fire. If using a gas grill, follow manufacturer's instructions for grill smoking.
2. Loosen skin on hen halves and rub half of thyme under skin, spreading as much as possible without tearing skin. Season hens with salt and pepper. Place hens, breast side up, on smoker rack or grill rack away from coals. Cover smoker or grill and smoke 2 hours, adding more wood chips about halfway through smoking time.
3. While hens are smoking, make glaze by heating jelly, wine, and remaining thyme in a small non-reactive saucepan, stirring until jelly melts. After 2 hours of smoking, brush hens with glaze and smoke 15 minutes. Brush again and smoke to an internal temperature of 180Â°F.; the juices should run clear when pricked with a knife tip. This will take about 15 minutes longer, for a total of about 2 1/2 hours smoking time.