Cornish Game Hen Binghamton-Style

Cornish Game Hen Binghamton-StyleBinghamton’s contribution to American gastronomy is, without doubt, the spiedie. Although the exact origin of the tasty meat cubes is a topic of endless discussion there is little question that it has Italian roots. However, the near-universal inclusion of mint in the marinade suggests to me a Greek influence as well. Regardless, spiedie marinade has utility beyond spiedies alone. Here I use Salamida’s State Farm Spiedie Marinade to flavor Cornish game hen. There are other spiedie marinades available, notably Lupo’s, and you could use them as well. The flavors vary somewhat but all are good. I cooked the hen in a grill pan but only because my charcoal grill is buried in snow (this is Binghamton after all). This chicken is very good served over Greek-style rice with spinach.

A note on serving size: Cornish games hens are often considered to be a single serving but I find that some 2 pounds one easily serves two as I have done in this recipe. If you wish to serve each diner an entire bird, flatten it as directed but do not split it.


  • 1 Cornish game hen
  • Spiedie marinade
  • Salt and pepper


Rinse the bird inside and out then dry with paper towels. Using heavy kitchen shears remove the backbone. With a large sharp knife split it down the breast then remove any excess fat. Place into a small shallow pan and pour on enough spiedie marinade to half cover. Put in the refrigerator, turning from time to time, until ready to cook (the longer it marinates the better, up to several days).

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with a bit of olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Discard the marinade. Put the chicken halves in the pan, skin side down, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 170° in the thickest part of the thigh. On the skin side, rotate 90° halfway through to make nice grill marks. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


One response to “Cornish Game Hen Binghamton-Style

  1. Leo Cotnoir February 14, 2011 at 08:28

    My friend Therese who is of Calabrian descent informs me that her father made somthing similar to spiedie marinade using lots of mint. So, I guess my assumption that the use of mint in spiedie marinade is a Greek influence is mistaken. I stand corrected. Thanks, Therese!

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