Smoked and Fried Cornish Game Hen with Tabasco Hot Honey

Adapted by
Yield: 5 gallons


Yield: 5 gallons
7 ounces light brown sugar
1.62 pounds salt
12 bay leaves
4.22 ounces garlic cloves, halved
1.06 ounces black peppercorns
Smoked Game Hen:
16 Cornish game hens
Blue Smoke Red Dirt rub
Hot Chicken Paste:
Yield: 5 gallons
5 ounces smoked paprika
4 ounces granulated onion
3 ounces salt
2 ounces yellow mustard powder
1 ounce cayenne pepper
0.5 ounce malt vinegar powder
0.5 ounce habanero powder
2.5 quarts canola oil
Yield: 852 grams
260 grams pastry flour
12 grams powdered sugar
7 grams baking powder
15 grams kosher salt
9 grams granulated garlic
9 grams granulated onions
2 grams cayenne powder
2 grams cumin, ground
1 grams black pepper, ground
100 gram hot sauce
Yield: 28.1 pounds
25 pounds all-purpose flour
1.5 pounds salt
13.5 ounces black pepper
9 ounces cayenne
4 ounces paprika
Tabasco-spiked Hot Honey:
Yield: 5 gallons
3 kilograms red wine vinegar
1.25 cups Tabasco
10 kilograms honey
15 grams Spanish paprika
15 grams aleppo pepper
To Assemble and Serve:
Oil for frying


For the Brine

To a large Lexan, add all ingredients and 4 gallons plus 2.75 quarts water, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.  

For the Smoked Game Hen

Add birds to Brine. Brine 4 hours. Prepare a smoker with oak and heat to 250°F. Drain birds, pat dry, coat in rub, and smoke 4 to 5 hours. Cool birds.

For the Hot Chicken Paste

In an oversized bowl, whisk to combine spices. To a large pot, add oil and heat until shimmering, about 170°F. Pour fat over spices. Whisk to combined. Cool. Pour into quart containers, cover, and refrigerate. Temper before service.  , add all ingredients and 4 gallons plus 2.75 quarts water, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.  

For the Dunk

In a bowl, whisk to combine dry ingredients. Add hot sauce and 300 grams water. Stir to combine. 

For the Dredge

In a large Lexan, combine all ingredients. 

Tabasco-spiked Hot Honey

In a large Lexan, whisk to combine all ingredients. Transfer to squeeze bottles. 

To Assemble and Serve

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 400°F. Stir Hot Chicken Paste to maintain a consistent potency. Dip Smoked Game Hen in the Dunk followed by the Dredge. Deep fry 6 to 7 minutes, until deep golden. Remove from fryer and dunk birds in Hot Chicken Paste. On a large serving, place bird and drizzle with Tabasco-spiked Hot Honey.